Design of a variable-stiffness robotic hand using pneumatic soft rubber actuators

Jun Ya Nagase, Shuichi Wakimoto, Toshiyuki Satoh, Norihiko Saga, Koichi Suzumori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, Japanese society has been ageing, engendering a labor shortage of young workers. Robots are therefore expected to be useful in performing tasks such as day-to-day support for elderly people. In particular, robots that are intended for use in the field of medical care and welfare are expected to be safe when operating in a human environment because they often come into contact with people. Furthermore, robots must perform various tasks such as regrasping, grasping of soft objects, and tasks using frictional force. Given these demands and circumstances, a tendon-driven robot hand with a stiffness changing finger has been developed. The finger surface stiffness can be altered by adjusting the input pressure depending on the task. Additionally, the coefficient of static friction can be altered by changing the surface stiffness merely by adjusting the input air pressure. This report describes the basic structure, driving mechanism, and basic properties of the proposed robot hand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105015
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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