Publications:Investigation into reducing anthropomorphic hand degrees of freedom while maintaining human hand grasping functions


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Title Investigation into reducing anthropomorphic hand degrees of freedom while maintaining human hand grasping functions
Author Mohamed Zarzoura and Pablo Del Moral and Mohammed I. Awad and Farid A. Tolbah
Year 2019
PublicationType Journal Paper
Journal Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part H, journal of engineering in medicine
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Abstract Underactuation is widely used when designing anthropomorphic hand, which involves fewer degrees of actuation than degrees of freedom. However, the similarities between coordinated joint movements and movement variances across different grasp tasks have not been suitably examined. This work suggests a systematic approach to identify the actuation strategy with the minimum number for degrees of actuation for anthropomorphic hands. This work evaluates the correlations of coordinated movements in human hands during 23 grasp tasks to suggest actuation strategies for anthropomorphic hands. Our approach proceeds as follows: first, we find the best description for each coordinated joint movement in each grasp task by using multiple linear regression; then, based on the similarities between joint movements, we classify hand joints into groups by using hierarchical cluster analysis; finally, we reduce the dimensionality of each group of joints by employing principal components analysis. The metacarpophalangeal joints and proximal interphalangeal joints have the best and most consistent description of their coordinated movements across all grasp tasks. The thumb metacarpophalangeal and abduction/adduction between the ring and little fingers exhibit relatively high independence of movement. The distal interphalangeal joints show a high degree of independent movement but not for all grasp tasks. Analysis of the results indicates that for the distal interphalangeal joints, their coordinated movements are better explained when all fingers wrap around the object. Our approach fails to provide more information for the other joints. We conclude that 19 degrees of freedom for an anthropomorphic hand can be reduced to 13 degrees of actuation distributed between six groups of joints. The number of degrees of actuation can be further reduced to six by relaxing the dimensionality reduction criteria. Other resolutions are as follows: (a) the joint coupling scheme should be joint-based rather than finger-based and (b) hand designs may need to include finger abduction/adduction movements.