16-848 Hands: Design and Control for Dexterous Manipulation

Spring 2018
MW 12:00-1:20pm
NSH 3002

Research related to hands has increased dramatically over the past decade. Hands are in focus in computer graphics and virtual reality, new robot hands have been popping up in great variety, and manipulation has been featured in widely publicized programs such as the DARPA Robotics Challenge. With all of this attention on hands, are we close to a breakthrough in dexterity, or are we still missing some things needed for truly competent manipulation?

In this course, we will survey robotic hands and learn about the human hand with the goal of pushing the frontiers on hand design and control for dexterous manipulation. We will consider the necessary kinematics and dynamics for dexterity, what sensors are required to carry out dexterous interactions, the importance of reflexes and compliance, and the challenge of uncertainty. We will examine the human hand: its structure, sensing capabilities, human grasp choice and control strategies for inspiration and benchmarking. Students will be asked to present one or two research papers, participate in discussions and short research or design exercises, and carry out a final project.

Instructor: Nancy Pollard


Syllabus

Week of Mon Wed
Jan 15 No Class: Martin Luther King Day
Course Introduction / History of Robot Hands
Jan 22 Case Study: Ocean One Hand
  • References
  • Human Grasping
    Jan 29 Human Manipulation and Benchmarking
  • References
  • Case Study: Grasp/Manipulation Control
    Feb 5 Grasp Planning Manipulation Planning
    Feb 12 Robonaut 2 Hand (Sherman) Robot Hands Comparison (Michael)
    Feb 19 Soft Hands / Grippers (Emily)
    Microspine Grippers (Matt)
    Feb 26 FINAL PROJECT PITCHES
    Design Optimization
    Mar 5 More Design Optimization
    Design / Manipulation Optimization
    Mar 12 SPRING BREAK
    SPRING BREAK
    Mar 19 Human Hand Anatomy / Sensing
    Tactile Sensors (Alex)
    Mar 26 More Tactile Sensors
    Sensing for Grasping/Manipulation (Pragna)
    Apr 2 More Sensing for Manipulation
    FINAL PROJECT CHECKPOINT
    Apr 9 Compliance in the Human Hand
    Control for Grasping/Manipulation
    Apr 16 Manipulation Learning (Arpit)
    More Manipulation Learning (Dominik)
    Apr 23 TBD
    TBD
    Apr 30 FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS
    FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS


    Topics of interest for this course include: