Generality and Simple Hands
While complex hands seem to offer generality, simple hands are often more practical. This raises the question: how do generality and simplicity trade off in the design of robot hands? This paper explores the tension between simplicity in hand design and generality in hand function. It raises arguments both for and against simple hands; it considers several familiar examples; and it proposes a concept for a simple hand design with associated strategies for grasping, recognition, and localization. The central idea is to use learned knowledge of stable grasp poses as a cue for object recognition and localization. This leads to some novel design criteria, such as minimizing the number of stable grasp poses. Finally, we present some experimental results for a prototype simple hand in a bin-picking task.