SpinyHand: Contact Load Sharing for a Human-Scale Climbing Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Shiquan Wang

613 Portsmouth Ln. Foster City, CA 94404 shiquan.wang@flexiv.com

Hao Jiang

555 W Middlefield Road APT P308 Mountain View, CA 94043 hao.jiang@flexiv.com

Tae Myung Huh

Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305 taemyung@stanford.edu

Danning Sun

Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305 dannings@stanford.edu

Wilson Ruotolo

Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305 wruotolo@stanford.edu

Matthew William Miller

Stanford University Stanford, CA 94304 millerm2@stanford.edu

William R. T. Roderick

Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305 wrtr@stanford.edu

Hannah S. Stuart

2521 Hearst Ave, Etcheverry 5138 University of California Berkeley, California Berkeley, CA 94709 hstuart@berkeley.edu

Mark R. Cutkosky

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering Bldg. 550 Stanford, CA 94305 cutkosky@stanford.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received December 31, 2018; final manuscript received February 4, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Veronica J. Santos.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043023 History: Received December 31, 2018; Accepted February 15, 2019


We present a hand specialized for climbing unstructured rocky surfaces. Articulated fingers achieve grasps commonly used by human climbers. The gripping surfaces are equipped with dense arrays of spines that engage with asperities on hard rough materials. A load-sharing transmission system divides the shear contact force among spine tiles on each phalanx to prevent premature spine slippage or grasp failure. Taking advantage of the hand's kinematic and load-sharing properties, the wrench space of achievable forces and moments can be computed rapidly. Bench-top tests show agreement with the model, with average wrench space errors of 10-15%, despite the stochastic nature of spine/surface interaction. The model provides design guidelines and control strategy insights for the SpinyHand and can inform future work.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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