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S. Casini, V. Tincani, G. Averta, M. Poggiani, C. Della Santina, E. Battaglia, M. G. Catalano, M. Bianchi, G. Grioli, A. Bicchi (2017, May). “Design of an under-actuated wrist based on adaptive synergies”, 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robot

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An effective robotic wrist represents a key enabling element in robotic manipulation, especially in prosthetics. In this paper, we propose an under-actuated wrist system, which is also adaptable and allows to implement different under-actuation schemes. Our approach leverages upon the idea of soft synergies - in particular the design method of adaptive synergies - as it derives from the field of robot hand design. First we introduce the design principle and its implementation and function in a configurable test bench prototype, which can be used to demonstrate the feasibility of our idea. Furthermore, we report on results from preliminary experiments with humans, aiming to identify the most probable wrist pose during the pre-grasp phase in activities of daily living. Based on these outcomes, we calibrate our wrist prototype accordingly and demonstrate its effectiveness to accomplish grasping and manipulation tasks.