IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
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In this letter, we present a novel inverse kinematics (IK) solution for a robotic arm-hand system to achieve precision grasp. This problem is kinematically over-constrained and to address the issue and to solve the problem, we propose a new approach with three key insights. First, we propose a human-inspired thumb-first strategy and consider one finger of the robotic hand as the “thumb” to narrow down the search space and increase the success rate of our algorithm. Second, we formulate the arm-thumb serial chain as a closed chain such that the entire arm-hand system is controlled as a hybrid parallel-serial system. The closed-chain formulation simplifies the task hierarchy of the entire arm-hand system. Third, we attach a virtual revolute joint to the thumb's tip with its rotation axis aligning with the thumb's contact normal The virtual joint will embody the thumb's functional redundancy. By selecting the thumb's joints including the added virtual revolute joint as active joints of the arm-thumb closed chain, the arm-thumb system's self-motion (i.e., the palm pose) and the thumb's functional redundancy can be directly controlled without using the null space projection. This provides a new possibility to control the self-motion of arm-hand systems. Simulation results will demonstrate the advantages and superior performance of the proposed approach for achieving precision grasp compared to other classical approaches.