Soft robotic technologies are paving way for physical human-robot hand interactions, creating a need for structured evaluation metrics for robot hands. We propose that the contact pressure distribution of the grasp should be used as a hand benchmark both for naturalness and comfort, and present our initial work in this direction. We describe an experimental setup for measuring the contact pressure distribution and present a case study comparing the pressure distributions from a robotic hand and a human hand. The grasping force of the human hand is ten times greater than the robot, but the robot hand produces higher peak contact pressures and smaller contact areas.
“This work has been supported by the SOMA project (European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, H2020-ICT-645599). We thank Antonio Bicchi, Gaspare Santaera and Giorgio Grioli at Centro di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa for providing us with a Pisa/IIT SoftHand.”
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