Redundant tendon-driven systems such as the human hand or the ACT robotic hand are high-dimensional and nonlinear systems that make traditional control strategies ineffective. The synergy hypothesis from neuroscience suggests that employing dimensionality reduction techniques can simplify the system without a major loss in function. We define a dimensionality reduction framework consisting of separate observation and activation synergies, a first-order model, and an optimal controller. The framework is implemented for two example tasks: adaptive control of thumb posture and hybrid position/force control to enable dynamic handwriting.
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