The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents a seminar on “‘Mechanical Intelligence’ in Robotic Manipulation: Towards Human-level Dexterity in Robotic and Prosthetic Hands” by Aaron M. Dollar of Yale University. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.
The human hand is the pinnacle of dexterity – it has the ability to powerfully grasp a wide range of object sizes and shapes as well as delicately manipulate objects held within the fingertips. Current robotic and prosthetic systems, however, have only a fraction of that manual dexterity. My group attempts to address this gap in three main ways: examining the mechanics and design of effective hands, studying biological hand function as inspiration and performance benchmarking, and developing novel control approaches that accommodate task uncertainty. In terms of hand design, we strongly prioritize passive mechanics, including incorporating adaptive underactuated transmissions and carefully tuned compliance and seek to maximize open-loop performance while minimizing complexity. To motivate and benchmark our efforts, we are examining human hand usage during daily activities as well as quantifying functional aspects such as precision manipulation workspaces.
Aaron M. Dollar is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Science at Harvard University, and was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Health Sciences and Technology and the Media Lab. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including young investigator awards from AFOSR, DARPA, NASA, and NSF, and is the founder of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Mechanisms and Design.
Dollar’s research interests include mechatronics, robotic grasping and manipulation, machine and mechanism design, rehabilitation and assistive devices, prosthetics, underactuated mechanisms, and biomechanics of human movement.