An Affordable, Adaptable, Resilient, Robust Robotic Hand

The Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is creating manipulators with a high degree of autonomy capable of serving multiple military purposes across a wide variety of application domains. Current robotic manipulation systems save lives and reduce casualties, but are limited when adapting to multiple mission environments and need burdensome human interaction and lengthy time durations for completing tasks. The ARM-H track of DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program focuses on development of robust, low-cost and dexterous robotic hand hardware. DARPA funded performers to design and build hand mechanisms that could replace the claw-like hands currently used on robots with hands incorporating 3-4 fingers and useable palms. The teams successfully produced hands that can be manufactured for as little as $3,000 per unit (in batches of 1,000 or more), down from the $50,000 cost of current technology. The new hands also incorporate sufficient dexterity to enable manipulation of objects in their fingers when controlled by a skilled operator. This technology helps pave the way for adaptable, low-cost robots that can use a wide range of human tools to assist in dangerous
defense missions. ARM seeks to enable autonomous manipulation systems to surpass the performance level of remote manipulation systems that are controlled directly by a human operator. The program will attempt to reach this goal by developing software and hardware that enables robots to autonomously grasp and manipulate objects in unstructured environments, with humans providing only high-level direction. The ARM program consists of three tracks: software, hardware and outreach. The hardware track focuses on design and development of low-cost dexterous multi-fingered hands taking advantage of recent manufacturing advancements. The software track focuses on developing new algorithms and approaches for grasping and manipulation using local sensors for perception. The outreach track engages a larger community by placing robotic systems in public museums (presently the National Air and Space Museum) and also encouraging unfunded participants to develop algorithms robot autonomy through the web to a real system. Contacts and sources: DARPA, Source: Nano Patents And Innovations

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