Contact-less Manipulation of Millimeter-scale Objects via Ultrasonic Levitation
Although general purpose robotic manipulators are becoming more capable at manipulating various objects, their ability to manipulate millimeter-scale objects are usually limited. On the other hand, ultrasonic levitation devices have been shown to levitate a large range of small objects, from polystyrene balls to living organisms. By controlling the acoustic force fields, ultrasonic levitation devices can compensate for robot manipulator positioning uncertainty and control the grasping force exerted on the target object. The material agnostic nature of acoustic levitation devices and their ability to dexterously manipulate millimeter-scale objects make them appealing as a grasping mode for general purpose robots. In this work, we present an ultrasonic, contact-less manipulation device that can be attached to or picked up by any general purpose robotic arm, enabling millimeter-scale manipulation with little to no modification to the robot itself. This device is capable of performing the very first phase-controlled picking action on acoustically reflective surfaces. With the manipulator placed around the target object, the manipulator can grasp objects smaller in size than the robot's positioning uncertainty, trap the object to resist air currents during robot movement, and dexterously hold a small and fragile object, like a flower bud. Due to the contact-less nature of more »
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Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10296265
Journal Name:
2020 8th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
264 to 271
2. Grasping a simple object from the side is easy --- unless the object is almost as big as the hand or space constraints require positioning the robot hand awkwardly with respect to the object. We show that humans --- when faced with this challenge --- adopt coordinated finger movements which enable them to successfully grasp objects even from these awkward poses. We also show that it is relatively straight forward to implement these strategies autonomously. Our human-studies approach asks participants to perform grasping task by either puppetteering'' a robotic manipulator that is identical~(geometrically and kinematically) to a popular underactuated robotic manipulator~(the Barrett hand), or using sliders to control the original Barrett hand. Unlike previous studies, this enables us to directly capture and compare human manipulation strategies with robotic ones. Our observation is that, while humans employ underactuation, how they use it is fundamentally different (and more effective) than that found in existing hardware.