Pizza peel inspires new robotic hand with improved dexterity

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London, July 27 (ANI): Osaka University engineers in Japan have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration to improve dexterity among robots-a pizza parlour.

"An Italian chef dextrously manipulates a pizza in an oven using a tool called a pizza peel," New Scientist magazine quoted Makoto Kaneko, the team's leader at the university, as saying.

Impressed by the way a pizza peel gives the chef a surprising degree of control over the pizza, the researchers have designed a robotic hand that allows robots to exert similar control.

Kaneko points out that a pizza chef can only move the peel with two degrees of freedom - back-and-forth and by twisting the pole - but still the two motions in combination can be used to provide an extra degree of freedom and rotate the pizza horizontally.

The researcher says that the novel robot "hand" also has the same capability, which allows it to manipulate an object with great precision.

According to Kaneko, this approach is not only simpler than mechanical fingers, but it also has the advantage that none of the electronics or mechanics need be contained within the manipulator itself.

The researcher feels that this should be useful for robot manipulators that need to be operated in confined spaces or harsh environments.

A research article describing the study will be published in IEEE Transactions in Robotics. (ANI)

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