The anthropomorphic robot David (formerly the DLR Hand Arm System) has joints with Variable Stiffness Actuators (VSA) that have mechanically adjustable flexibility in the drive train. One objective of development is to approach human capabilities, particularly with regard to dynamics, dexterity, and robustness.
The robot was first presented publicly consisting of one arm with hand in 2010.
Robotic systems are becoming ever more complex, which increases the risk of costly damages during operation. The increased risk often prevents developers from quickly testing fundamentally new regulatory and planning strategies. In addition, the dynamic characteristics of existing robot systems for dynamic, human-like motion sequences such as running or throwing are insufficient. Conventional actuators cannot provide the peak performance required for this without becoming too large and heavy. We are therefore convinced that great technological leaps in aerospace and service robotics can only be achieved with robotic systems that are robust against “everyday collisions” and have energy storage.
David in the form of a full humanoid upper body is a result of research and consequent development. It started from the first ideas of variable stiffness actuators and continued with prototypes, multiple generations of hands and body components. Keeping our long term vision of a dexterous and robust service robot in mind, our focus changed from technological basics to skills and finally applications.
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
Five fingered hand with high dexterity and fine manipulation skills.
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
Fault-tolerant six-DoF pose estimation for tendon-driven continuum elastic neck.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Development of a framework for dexterous manipulation which enables precise control of grasped objects.
David grasping a cup object. Predictions for the pose and configuration of the forearm, wrist, palm, and cup from the M3T tracker are visualized as an overlay.
The anthropomorphic robot David is not only about the same size as a human, but also has a similar range of motion. Each joint in the fingers is controlled individually thus lending the system extraordinary manual dexterity.
The humanoid robot David autonomously uses an impact drill and a vacuum cleaner to drill a hole in a concrete slab.
David is an anthropomorphic robot developed at DLR using variable stiffness actuators (VSA). It is intended to approach its human archetype in size, weight, and performance. The focus of the development is on robustness, high dynamics, and dexterity.
Grebenstein, M., Albu-Schäffer, A., Bahls, T., Chalon, M., Eiberger, O., Friedl, W., Gruber, R., Hagn, U., Haslinger, R., Höppner, H., Jörg, S., Nickl, M., Nothhelfer, A., Petit, F., Pleintinger, B., Reil, J., Seitz, N., Wimböck, T., Wolf, S., Wüsthoff, T. and Hirzinger, G., "The DLR Hand Arm System", Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, Shanghai, China, pp. 3175-3182, May 2011.