, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 2767–2780 | Cite as

Experiments of fine manipulation tasks with dexterous robotic hands

  • G. Palli
  • S. Pirozzi
  • C. Natale
  • G. De Maria
  • C. Melchiorri
Soft Mechatronics


In this paper, the experimental evaluation of fine manipulation tasks executed by the DEXMART Hand is presented. The robotic hand is characterized by a compliant actuation system and soft contact interfaces. The manipulation is controlled by feedback information acquired by optoelectronic tactile sensors integrated into the fingertips of the robotic hand. An impedance-like control scheme has been implemented to allow the simultaneous control of the finger positions and contact forces, thus preventing position drift caused by asymmetric force measurement between different sensors. This approach allows also to decouple the control of the normal force applied to the object to prevent slip from the control of the tangential forces applied to the object surface to perform manipulation. Moreover, the evaluation of manipulation tasks of soft objects with variable weight is presented to show the ability of the system to hold the object by applying the minimum required normal force to prevent slip. The performance evaluation has been carried out by considering fine manipulation tasks executed with a simplified setup composed by two opposed fingers, and manipulation tasks of various objects involving the whole DEXMART Hand are presented, as a demonstration of the device capabilities.


Fine manipulation Soft contact Compliant actuation Robotic hands 



Joint angular velocity vector


Joint angular velocity vector


Minimum-norm tendon force vector

\(\lambda \)

Tendon null-space force scaling factor

\(\mu \)

Surface friction coefficient

\(\varPhi ^{-1}(p)\)

Finger inverse kinematic function

\(\tau \)

Joint torque vector

\(\tau _d\)

Desired joint torque vector


Finger link lengths


Contact point free-space motion (before contact)


Contact point displacement due to the object deformation


Joint position deviation caused by the contact force


Reaction force due to the object deformation


Tendon force vector


Tendon threshold force vector


Desired contact force


Desired tendon force vector


Tendon null-space force vector


Measured contact force


Normal desired contact force


Measured tangential contact force


Measured contact force along \(\{x,y,x\}\) axis


Gravity torque vector


Tendon-joint coupling matrix


Finger Jacobian matrix


Joint velocity control gain matrix


Joint position control gain matrix


Contact force controller gain matrix


Object elastic constants


Tendon displacement vector


Tendon displacements

\(p(q)=\varPhi (q)\)

Cartesian fingertip position wrt \({\mathcal {F}}_b\)


Fingertip position along \(\{x,y,z\}\) axis


Finger joint angle vector


Finger joint angles


Rotation matrix between \({\mathcal {F}}_f\) and \({\mathcal {F}}_b\)


Rotation matrix between contact frame and the tactile sensor frame


Rotation matrix between the tactile sensor frame and \({\mathcal {F}}_b\)


Radii of the finger joint pulleys


Coordinate transformation between \({\mathcal {F}}_f\) and \({\mathcal {F}}_b\)


Manipulation controller auxiliary input

\({\mathcal {F}}_b\)

Finger base reference frame

\({\mathcal {F}}_f\)

Fingertip reference frame


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DEI - Università di BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.DIII - Seconda Università di NapoliAversaItaly

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