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G. Averta, C. Della Santina, E. Battaglia, S. Ciotti, V. Arapi, S. Fani, M. Bianchi, "From humans to robots: the role of cutaneous impairment in human environmental constraint exploitation to inform the design of robotic hands", 2017 9th Internationa

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Human hands are capable of a variety of movements, thanks to their extraordinary biomechanical structure and relying on the richness of human tactile information. Recently, soft robotic hands have opened exciting possibilities and, at the same time, new issues related to planning and control. In this work, we propose to study human strategies in environmental constraint exploitation to grasp objects from a table. We have considered both the case where participants’ fingertips were free and with a rigid shell worn on them to understand the role of cutaneous touch. Main kinematic strategies were quantified and classified in an unsupervised manner. The principal strategies appear to be consistent in both experimental conditions, although cluster cardinality differs. Furthermore, as expected, tactile feedback
improves both grasp precision and quality performance. Results opens interesting perspective for sensing and control of soft manipulators.