patent number 4783107
Proximity sensors are used to sense impending contact, i.e., a point of close approach, between a finger of a robot hand and an object. Each finger is equipped with force sensors so that finger touch force with the object can be measured and controlled. The hand is controlled by a dedicated microprocessor, which communicates with a robot arm controller through 8 digital input/output lines. A novel "bi-modal" control system uses information from the proximity sensors to control both solenoid (on/off) valves and a proportional servovalve which are alternatively switched into an operative mode in a pneumatic circuit which powers the pneumatic actuators of the hand. This control design achieves the two goals of rapid object acquisition and low interaction forces. Each finger of the hand is capable of implementing an acquisition strategy in which mislocated objects can be acquired.
Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
294/907, 901/36, 901/39, 901/46