Robot 'shadow hand'

Robot 'shadow hand'
Credit: ESA

Picking up an apple is one of those jobs requiring the delicate touch of the human hand – or its robotic counterpart.

ESA is developing technologies for advanced human–machine interaction to transfer the human to space.

The aim is that remote operators will feel as though they are right there with whatever they are controlling, such as planetary rovers.

Among the specialised equipment is this UK-supplied Shadow Hand, which incorporates a force-feedback sense of touch and pressure to allow high-precision, high-manipulability gripping, with the robot reproducing the motion of its human operator.

Based at ESA's ESTEC technical heart, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, the Telerobotics and Haptics Laboratory already has an experiment flying in orbit: the Haptics-1 payload aboard the International Space Station. The next step is next year's Interact experiment, with a wheeled rover down on Earth being steered from the Station.


Explore further

Image: Interact Robot Centaur designed for remote operation aboard the International Space Station

Citation: Robot 'shadow hand' (2014, December 12) retrieved 16 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-robot-shadow.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 12, 2014
The huge round trip delay on "planetary rovers" renders useful haptic feedback impractical.
A sample could be crushed before you felt the first touch.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more