Professor Yan-Bin Jia has received from the US National Science Foundation a 1-year, $74,999 Special Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) to investigate how to model the deformations of grasped objects.
A main thrust of the project will be on the search for a geometric formulation of surface strain energy that satisfies the strain-displacement relationships under the linear elasticity model. A graphical interface will be developed not only for the purpose of simulation, but also to be experimentally tested with a three-fingered BarrettHand.
The developed model based on linear elasticity will be extended to deal with large deformations, possibly combined with tools from the Nonlinear Finite Element Method (NFEM). The objective is to push the boundary of linear elasticity based modeling to achieve real-time computation by exploiting the fact that a grasp is decided by deformations in the contact areas with the fingers and not by that of the entire shape. With efforts balanced between theoretical inquiry and experimental demonstration, the PI hopes to gain in-depth understanding of the geometry and mechanics of grasping in the presence of deformation. The proposed work will pave the way for designing strategies for grasping deformable objects, and have potential impact on haptics, computer graphics, and medical robotics.