The AMADEUS dextrous subsea hand: Design, modeling, and sensor processing

D M Lane, John Bruce Clayfield Davies, G Robinson, D J O'Brien, J Sneddon, E Seaton, A Elfstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the mechanical design, finger modeling, and sensor signal processing for a dextrous subsea robot hand incorporating force and slip contact sensing. The hand uses a fluid-filled tentacle for each finger, which has inherent passive compliance, and no moving parts. Force sensing uses strain gauges mounted in the fingertip, potted within a silicon elastomer. Slip sensing uses a piezoelectric strip to detect vibration, embedded 1 mm below the elastomer surface. Static models of finger motion are presented and validated based on bending moments and hydraulic pressure. The design of a stochastic estimator is also described, for sensor fusion of contact force magnitude and direction data, obtained using redundant strain gauges in the fingertip. Finally, linear dynamic models of the finger dynamics in contact with a rigid surface are obtained using least squares and recursive least squares parameter estimation, as a precursor to closed-loop force control during grasping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-111
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


  • Dextrous manipulator
  • Flexible robot
  • Force and slip sensing
  • Robot hand
  • Static and dynamic modeling
  • Subsea


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