With the intent to enhance robotic manipulation, this paper describes a novel liquid-filled flexible micro suction-controller array (MISCA) for humanoid robotic hands that can hold curved or grooved surface objects. The proposed MISCA comprises 49 suction units arrayed in a 10 mm × 10mm area of flexible polydimethylsiloxane sheet. Each 1 mm diameter suction unit generates suction force independently. An incompressible working fluid (ethylene glycol) is injected or drained through microchannels in the MISCA using a syringe pump to control the suction force. In experiments, the proposed MISCA effectively generated suction forces of 0.96-1.54 N on flat surfaces, 0.43-0.63 N on cylindrical surfaces, and 0.60-0.83 N on spherical surfaces. In addition, the proposed MISCA was demonstrated to successfully manipulate a 75 g flat object (a watch), a 1-g grooved object (a yen coin), and a curved object (a tablet) using suction control.
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