In this paper, we consider the dimensional synthesis of one degree-of-freedom multi-loop planar linkages such that they do not violate normal direction and second order curvature constraints imposed by contact with objects. Our goal is in developing minimally actuated multi-loop mechanical devices for human-robot interaction, that is, devices whose tasks will happen in a human environment.
Currently no systematic method exists for the kinematic synthesis of robotic fingers that incorporate multi-loop kinematic structure with second order task constraints, related to curvature. We show how to use these contact and curvature effects to formulate the synthesis equations for the design of a planar one-degree-of-freedom six-bar linkage. An example for the design of a finger that maintains a specified contact with an object, for an anthropomorphic task, is presented at the end of the paper.
It is important to note, that the theoretical foundation presented in this paper, assists in solving some of the open problems of this field, providing preliminary results on the synthesis of kinematic chains with multi-loop topology and the use of novel task specifications that incorporate curvature constraints with future applications in grasping and object manipulation.