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GRASP Seminar: Robert J. Wood, Harvard University, “Soft robotics for delicate and dexterous manipulation”
April 4, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
This seminar was held virtually…
Robotic grasping and manipulation has historically been dominated by rigid grippers, force/form closure constraints, and extensive grasp trajectory planning. The advent of soft robotics offers new avenues to diverge from this paradigm by using strategic compliance to passively conform to grasped objects in the absence of active control, and with minimal chance of damage to the object or surrounding environment. However, while the reduced emphasis on sensing, planning, and control complexity simplifies grasping and manipulation tasks, precision and dexterity are often lost. This talk will discuss efforts to increase the robustness of soft grasping and the dexterity of soft robotic manipulators, with particular emphasis on grasping and in-hand manipulation tasks that are challenging for more traditional robot hands. This includes compliant objects, thin flexible sheets, and delicate organisms. Examples will be drawn from manipulation of everyday objects and field studies of deep sea sampling using soft end effectors.