Robots sent in to clean up disaster zones like the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan need a strong, secure grip. A robotic hand that can “see” in three dimensions could help.
London-based Shadow Robot is testing its Dexterous Hand with a Kinect depth-sensing camera that would allow it to analyse the 3D shape of any object a mobile robot is focusing on – or which is being held out to it by a human. Software then builds a 3D computer model of the approaching object and works out the arrangement of the four fingers and thumb that will most securely grip the object.
Developed by Shadow Robot and a group led by Dr. Hongbin Liu from the Centre for Robotics Research, King’s College London with funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board, the technology was demonstrated at the Automatica 2014 robotics exhibition in Munich, Germany.
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