Streamlining the Design of Robotic Manipulators with Tactile Sensors

Robotic manipulator design: A helping hand
The robotic copy of the human hand is still in need of funding and a lot more work.

Researchers at MIT have developed an interactive design pipeline to streamline and simplify the process of creating a robotic hand equipped with tactile sensors.

A robotics expert will typically spend several months designing a custom-made manipulator manually, mostly through trial and error. Every iteration may require that new parts be designed from scratch and tested. This new pipeline does not require manual assembly or any specialized knowledge.

The interface is similar to the digital LEGOs that designers use to build a robot manipulator. It uses modular components which are guaranteed to be fabricated. The user can customize the robotic hand by adjusting the fingers and palm to suit a particular task. They can also easily integrate tactile sensors in the final design.