A team from Yale University has developed a robotic hand that can handle assorted objects.

The robotic hand with an adaptive grip is capable of fully rotating objects thanks to a combination of a tendon-driven underactuated transmission and a camera that monitors the real-time position of objects in its hand.

"By coupling the adaptive nature of the hand and this external feedback, we were able to control the hand purely from vision, and without touch sensors," the researchers explained. "We use the feedback from this camera, so that it's always saying 'Hey you just took an action — how good was that action, and how can we make sure that the next action will be better?'"

Because the fingers of the robotic hand can constantly open and close around an object — jostling the object until the robotic hand achieves an ideal grip — the researchers suggest that the robotic hand could be used for assembly applications wherein the hand could pick and place objects.

According to the researchers, the robotic hand can manipulate a variety of different-shaped objects including spherical objects and assorted plastic toys, for example.

Watch the hand at work in the accompanying video that appears courtesy of Yale University.

The article, Complex In-Hand Manipulation via Compliance-Enabled Finger Gaiting and Multi-Modal Planning, appears in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

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