Generating Compliant Motion of Objects with an Articulated Hand
The flexibility of the robot is the key to its success as a viable aid to production. Flexibility of a robot can be explained in two directions. The first is to increase the physical generality of the robot such that it can be easily reconfigured to handle a wide variety of tasks. The second direction is to increase the ability of the robot to interact with its environment such that tasks can still be successfully completed in the presence of uncertainties. The use of articulated hands are capable of adapting to a wide variety of grasp shapes, hence reducing the need for special tooling. The availability of low mass, high bandwidth points close to the manipulated object also offers significant improvements I the control of fine motions. This thesis provides a framework for using articulated hands to perform local manipulation of objects. N particular, it addresses the issues in effecting compliant motions of objects in Cartesian space. The Stanford/JPL hand is used as an example to illustrate a number of concepts. The examples provide a unified methodology for controlling articulated hands grasping with point contacts. We also present a high-level hand programming system based on the methodologies developed in this thesis. Compliant motion of grasped objects and dexterous manipulations can be easily described in the LISP-based hand programming language.