The Role of the Thumb: Study of Finger Motion in Grasping and Reachability Space in Human and Robotic Hands
1061 - 1070
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
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It is well acknowledged that the opposing thumb granted humans advanced manipulation capabilities. However, such a feature is not statistically quantified, and its representation is not formally addressed in robotics yet. This paper studies whether the displacement of the opposing thumb in humans is a determining factor for shaping the grip. Using statistical analysis of the variability of motion capture data from the GRASP database, we found that the displacement of the thumb plays a leading role on the shaping of the grip, independently from the specific object being grasped. Furthermore, we map and compare the reachability spaces of the human thumb and two state-of-the-art robotic thumbs: 1) the shadow and 2) the iCub hands. We conclude that the kinematics of robotic thumbs does not evenly span the reachability space of the human thumb, favoring precision grasping motions. Hence, our findings contribute to the discussion of the optimal modeling of robotic hands.
AuthorsCotugno, G; Althoefer, K; Nanayakkara, T
- College Publications