Volume 23 Issue 4/5- Publication Date: 1 April-May 2004
Special Issue on the 8th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER ’02)
Torque-Controlled Lightweight Arms and Articulated Hands: DoWe Reach Technological Limits Now?
G. Hirzinger, N. Sporer, M. Schedl, J. Butterfaß and M. Grebenstein DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, German Aerospace Center, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, D-82230Wessling, Germany

In this paper we briefly address DLR’s (German Aerospace Center) background in space robotics by hand of corresponding milestone projects including systems on the International Space Station. We then discuss the key technologies needed for the development of an artificial “robonaut” generation with mechatronic ultra-lightweight arms and multifingered hands. The third arm generation is nearly finished now, approaching the limits of what is technologically achievable today with respect to light weight and power losses. In a similar way DLR’s second generation of artificial four-fingered hands was a big step towards higher reliability, manipulability and overall performance.

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