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USER INTERFACE FOR A TELE-OPERATED ROBOTIC HAND SYSTEM

DOE Grant Recipients

Idaho National Laboratory

Contact GRANT About This Technology


Technology Marketing Summary

A user interface for the teleoperation of a robotic hand. The user interface conducts a calibration procedure to determine a user’s applicable physiological dimensions and applies the physiological dimensions and a specific fingertip location to treat the user’s finger as a two link three degree-of-freedom serial linkage, in order to determine angles of interest through reverse kinematics. The user interface communicates the angles of interest to a gripping-type end effector which closely mimics the range of motion and proportions of a human hand.

Description

A particular variety of teleoperated devices utilize user control of a gripping-type end effector intended to closely approximate the digits of a human hand. Typically these gripping-type end effectors are designed to replicate the hand motion and posture of the controlling operator commonly include a variety of devices worn by the operator, such as exoskeletal mechanical devices, instrumented gloves, motion tracking sensors, or muscular activity sensors. These devices inevitably require direct or close contact with the operator, and as a result may hinder dexterous human motion due to the presence of sensors, attached cables, or other instruments associated with the interface.

The user interface provided here is intended to overcome these issues. The user interface monitors the motions and posture of a user’s hand during typical grasping and/or manipulation motions based on fingertip position, and relays various angles of interest to a robotic hand having substantially the same configuration and proportions. The user interface acts to anchor the user’s palm in a relatively stationary position and orientation, and track the locations of the user’s fingertips relative to some fixed reference point. The user interface initially conducts a calibration procedure based on reported fingertip locations in order to determine an overall length of a user’s finger from the fingertip to the MCP joint, and determine appropriate lengths for the proximate, intermediate, and distal phalange lengths specific to the user. With this information, the user interface determines MCP and PIP angles of the user’s finger necessary to achieve a specific fingertip location reported, and communicates this information to the robotic hand. In this manner, the general motions and posture of a user’s hand may be reproduced by the robotic hand. The particular interface has the advantage of adapting to a specific user through the calibration procedure and reporting the user finger angles without direct measurement of the joints of the user’s finger, allowing for increased freedom and precision of movement.

In some applications, the fingertip locators are fixably attached to a palm anchoring section at a 2 DOF interface universal joint. The palm anchoring section supports the palm of a user while the user’s fingertip is in contact with the fingertip locators. A primary advantage is that a user may operate in a manner allowing the user’s hand to be comfortably positioned and secured in space. The user interface uses the applicable physiological dimensions and the specific fingertip location, and treats the user’s finger as a two link three degree-of-freedom serial linkage in order to determine the angles of interest, and communicates the angles of interest to a gripping-type end effector which closely mimics the range of motion and proportions of a human hand. The user interface requires minimal contact with the operator and provides distinct advantages in terms of available dexterity, work space flexibility, and adaptability to different users.

Benefits

-          Calibration to different users.

-          User freedom from restricting contact.

-          Reproduction of fine motor movements.

Applications and Industries

-          Robotic hand controllers

-          Remote manipulation of controlled materials. 

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 8,989,902
Patent
8,989,902
User interface for a tele-operated robotic hand system
Disclosed here is a user interface for a robotic hand. The user interface anchors a user's palm in a relatively stationary position and determines various angles of interest necessary for a user's finger to achieve a specific fingertip location. The user interface additionally conducts a calibration procedure to determine the user's applicable physiological dimensions. The user interface uses the applicable physiological dimensions and the specific fingertip location, and treats the user's finger as a two link three degree-of-freedom serial linkage in order to determine the angles of interest. The user interface communicates the angles of interest to a gripping-type end effector which closely mimics the range of motion and proportions of a human hand. The user interface requires minimal contact with the operator and provides distinct advantages in terms of available dexterity, work space flexibility, and adaptability to different users.
03/24/2015
Issued
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
S-130,087DevelopmentAvailable04/27/201504/27/2015

Contact GRANT About This Technology

To: Jay Potts<James.Potts@science.doe.gov>