Invited Speakers

Jumpei Arata

Associate Prof.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Kyushu University

Title: Underactuated Hand Exoskeleton
-simple, compact and low-cost design to support grasping motion in ADL -
Abstract: Robotic hand orthosis is one challenging application because of the highly demanding requirements in size, weight and cost. To tackle this problem, we have been working on a underactuated finger exoskeleton mechanism using layered spring structure based on compliant mechanism. A robotic hand orthosis using the aforementioned mechanism will be introduced and the strategy to perform assistance of grasping movement for stroke patients will be discussed.

Allison M. Okamura

Mechanical Engineering Dept.
Stanford University

Title:Human Motor Performance in Robot-Assisted Surgery
Abstract: Robot-assisted surgery is widely adopted for many procedures but has not realized its full potential to date. Based on human motor control theories, researchers are examining the effects of robot dynamics, teleoperator control, and visuohaptic feedback on learning and performance of robot-assisted surgical tasks. Technological limitations impose challenges on the motor system of the user and may impair performance and slow down learning. We discuss our work to quantify these effects, and suggest possible implications for surgeon training and robot design.

Zhe Xu

Postdoctoral Associate
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Yale University

Title: Approaching human hand dexterity through highly biomimetic design
Abstract: Abstract:  An anthropomorphic robotic hand that mimics the salient features of the human hand could benefit a wide range of research areas, from telemanipulation in robotics to limb regeneration in tissue engineering. Anatomical evidence suggests that the unique biomechanics of the human hand plays an essential role in shaping the hand dexterity. Our work aims to minimize the mismatch between mechanisms of the robotic hand and the biomechanics of human hand through highly biomimetic design, so that the human operator could dexterously control the robotic hand with minimum amount of cognitive load and programing effort. And a resulting robotic hand made of biodegradable materials could potentially serve as a scaffold in limb regeneration research.

Koh Hosoda

Department of System Innovation, Graduated School of Engineering Science
Osaka University

Title: Object Manipulation with Anthropomorphic Robot Arm
Abstract: Human's body is soft. We utilize the body softness for realizing intelligent behavior. Our approach is to build an anthropomorphic robot hand/arm to reproduce such a adaptive behavior to understand the principle of soft manipulation. The presentation will introduce some of our trials to realize anthropomorphic robots and to demonstrate their adaptive behavior.

Kazuhiko Seki

Department of Neurophysiology
National Institute of Neuroscience
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry

Title: A neural basis of hand muscle synergy
Abstract: Grasping is a highly complex movement which requires coordination of a number of hand joints and muscles. Recent electromyographic (EMG) studies have shown that most of hand muscles are not independently activated during grasping but their activities can be explained with a combination of few basic components (”muscle synergy”) that could be used by CNS to reduce the control dimensionality. However, neural mechanism to organize or drive the hand muscle synergy is largely unknown. We have been approaching the neural correlates of muscle synergy by recording single neuronal activity in the motor cortex and spinal cord simultaneously with EMG signals from hand and wrist muscles in macaque monkeys performing grasping and wrist movements.

Ryuta Ozawa

Department of Robotics, College of Science and Engineering
Ritsumeikan University

Title: Dynamic Manipulation based on thumb opposability
Abstract: Force/torque closure is one of the most powerful tools to evaluate grasp while it is only a necessary condition to secure grasps; another control strategy is, therefore, needed to robustly stabilize a grasped object. We discuss about a robust grasp control method based on thumb opposability that is one of the most important anatomical features of hands. The controller can be easily implemented without force sensors and object sensing. Furthermore, it is easy to superpose lower priority tasks to this controller. We introduce several robotic hand systems, such as teleoperated hand systems, based on this controller.

Kenji Tahara

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Kyushu University

Title: Robust grasping and manipulation against uncertainty of sensing information: One of applications of thumb opposability based controller
Abstract: Visual and tactile sensing is very important and effective in order to acquire an object position, attitude and contact position of each fingertip during manipulation. It, however, is still difficult to obtain such information clearly and precisely within real-time. Visual information generally includes considerable time-delay due to low sampling period and computational burden and its accuracy strongly depends on ambient light condition. Also tactile information tends to suffer from noise, inaccuracy and time-delay with a few exceptions. In this talk, we would introduce a robust grasping and manipulation controller based on thumb opposability, which employs such information effectively, and discuss how to use such information in a manipulation controller.

Mitsunori Tada

Group Leader
Digital Human Research Group
Human Informatics Research Institute, AIST

Title: Interface between Robotics and Digital Human
Abstract: We started digital hand research more than 10 years ago as a part of digital human project for realizing virtual ergonomic assessment of hand held industrial products. For this purpose, we have developed computational human hand models with individual differences in geometry and algorithms to synthesize grasping posture or motion by using kinematic constraints between the hand and products or motion capture data. Robotics and the digital human seem to have no relation since the robotics is for realizing human functionalities in the real world that is opposite to what the digital human intends to achieve, however they are closely tied to each other. In this talk, the interface between the robotics and the digital human as well as the overview of the digital hand research are presented.

Kensuke Harada

Department of System Innovation, Graduated School of Engineering Science
Osaka University

Title: Planning Dexterous Dual-arm Manipulation


Alberto Rodriguez

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: Robot Dexterity the non-Anthropomorphic Way
Abstract: TBA

Tetsuyou Watanabe

Associate Professor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Science and Engineering
Kanazawa University

Title: Hand structure and dexterity
Abstract: Here, we will discuss how to design robotic hand to achieve high dexterity. Robotic hands with low D.O.F. can be easily controlled, and dexterity could be then easily obtained, although the dexterity might be different from that for humans. How dexterity is required determines the structure of robotic hands. In this presentation, we will discuss this issue with our recent developed several robotic hands equipping fluid fingertips. We will show the grasping results of tofu, sweats, bread, fruits, heavy books, heavy bottles, small washer, and so on.