A Bidirectional Soft Biomimetic Hand Driven by Water Hydraulic for Dexterous Underwater Grasping

Haihang Wang, He Xu, Fares J. Abu-Dakka, Ville Kyrki, Chen Yang, Xin Li, Siqing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soft robotics shows considerable promise for various underwater applications. Soft grippers as end-effectors are particularly useful for compliant and robust grasping compared to rigid mechanisms. In this work, we describe the design, fabrication and operation of a soft robotic hand driven by water hydraulics for underwater grasping. The proposed design has, in addition to the five fingers of a human hand, an extra soft thumb arranged symmetrically in an active soft palm. The soft fingers are designed with four chambers to enable bidirectional bending and deflection motions. We propose a novel elastic fiber reinforced structure to enhance and constrain the flexion movements of three palm actuators. The versatility of the underwater robotic hand is evaluated by implementing the human grasping gestures of the Feix taxonomy. Furthermore, we present a low-cost one-camera-multiple-mirrors imaging approach for capturing the grasps from multiple viewpoints simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2186-2193
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Actuators
  • Bending
  • Fabrication
  • Grasping
  • Grippers
  • Robots
  • Thumb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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