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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2014

Giorgio Figliolini and Pierluigi Rea

The subject of the paper is the mechatronic design of a novel robotic hand, cassino-underactuated-multifinger-hand (Ca.U.M.Ha.), along with its prototype and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The subject of the paper is the mechatronic design of a novel robotic hand, cassino-underactuated-multifinger-hand (Ca.U.M.Ha.), along with its prototype and the experimental analysis of its grasping of soft and rigid objects with different shapes, sizes and materials. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Ca.U.M.Ha. is designed with four identical underactuated fingers and an opposing thumb, all joined to a rigid palm and actuated by means of double-acting pneumatic cylinders. In particular, each underactuated finger with three phalanxes and one actuator is able to grasp cylindrical objects with different shapes and sizes, while the common electropneumatic operation of the four underactuated fingers gives an additional auto-adaptability to grasp objects with irregular shapes. Moreover, the actuating force control is allowed by a closed-loop pressure control within the pushing chambers of the pneumatic cylinders of the four underactuated fingers, because of a pair of two-way/two-position pulse-width-modulation (PWM) modulated pneumatic digital valves, which can also be operated under ON/OFF modes.

Findings

The grasping of soft and rigid objects with different shapes, sizes and materials is a very difficult task that requires a complex mechatronic design, as proposed and developed worldwide, while Ca.U.M.Ha. offers these performances through only a single ON/OFF or analogue signal.

Practical implications

Ca.U.M.Ha. could find several practical applications in industrial environments since it is characterized by a robust and low-cost mechatronic design, flexibility and easy control, which are based on the use of easy-running components.

Originality/value

Ca.U.M.Ha. shows a novel mechatronic design that is based on a robust mechanical design and an easy operation and control with high dexterity and reliability to perform a safe grasp of objects with different shapes, sizes and materials.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Antonio Gonzalez Rodriguez, Angel Gonzalez Rodriguez and Pierluigi Rea

The paper aims to present a new mechanical scheme for a leg to be included in legged vehicles that simplifies the control actuations along the stride.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to present a new mechanical scheme for a leg to be included in legged vehicles that simplifies the control actuations along the stride.

Design/methodology/approach

The scheme includes three four‐bar links grouped in two mechanisms. The first one decouples the vertical and horizontal foot movements. The second one produces a constant horizontal foot velocity when the corresponding motor is given a constant speed. A hybrid robot with wheels at the end of the hind legs has been simulated and constructed to validate the leg performance.

Findings

The gait control requires only five commands for the electronic cards to control the leg. Decoupling vertical and horizontal movements allows a more adequate selection of actuators, a reduction of energy consumption, and higher load capacity and robot velocity. Additional mechanical benefits, such as improved robustness and lower inertia, are obtained. The hind legs can also be articulated, allowing the robot to overcome an obstacle and to climb up and down stairs.

Research limitations/implications

A hybrid robot offers greater stability with respect to a legged robot. This way the lateral movement is not a concern, and therefore it has not been tested yet during the walking cycle.

Originality/value

This new scheme obtains a quasi‐Cartesian behaviour for the foot movement that drastically simplifies the control of the walking cycle. Although the decoupling between movements has already been obtained in previous configurations, these follow a pantograph structure and suffer from blocking problems when they are subject to lateral forces. These schemes were suitable for crab‐like gaits. The proposed leg moves according to a mammal‐like gait.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2020

Ginevra Gravili, Francesco Manta, Concetta Lucia Cristofaro, Rocco Reina and Pierluigi Toma

The aim of this paper is to analyze and measure the effects of intellectual capital (IC), i.e. human capital (HC), relational capital (RC) and structural capital (SC), on…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyze and measure the effects of intellectual capital (IC), i.e. human capital (HC), relational capital (RC) and structural capital (SC), on healthcare industry organizational performance and understanding the role of data analytics and big data (BD) in healthcare value creation (Wang et al., 2018). Through the assessment of determined variables specific for each component of IC, the paper identifies the guidelines and suggests propositions for a more efficient response in terms of services provided to citizens and, specifically, patients, as well as predicting effective strategies to improve the care management efficiency in terms of cost reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

The study has a twofold approach: in the first part, the authors operated a systematic review of the academic literature aiming to enquire the relationship between IC, big data analytics (BDA) and healthcare system, which were also the descriptors employed. In the second part, the authors built an econometric model analyzed through panel data analysis, studying the relationship between IC, namely human, relational and structural capital indicators, and the performance of healthcare system in terms of performance. The study has been conducted on a sample of 28 European countries, notwithstanding the belonging to specific international or supranational bodies, between 2011 and 2016.

Findings

The paper proposes a data-driven model that presents new approach to IC assessment, extendable to other economic sectors beyond healthcare. It shows the existence of a positive impact (turning into a mathematical inverse relationship) of the human, relational and structural capital on the performance indicator, while the physical assets (i.e. the available beds in hospitals on total population) positively mediates the relationship, turning into a negative impact of non-IC related inputs on healthcare performance. The result is relevant in terms of managerial implications, enhancing the opportunity to highlight the crucial role of IC in the healthcare sector.

Research limitations/implications

The relationship between IC indicators and performance could be employed in other sectors, disseminating new approaches in academic research. Through the establishment of a relationship between IC factors and performance, the authors implemented an approach in which healthcare organizations are active participants in their economic and social value creation. This challenges the views of knowledge sharing deeply held inside organizations by creating “new value” developed through a more collaborative and permeated approach in terms of knowledge spillovers. A limitation is given by a fragmented policymaking process which carries out different results in each country.

Practical implications

The analysis provides interesting implications on multiple perspectives. The novelty of the study provides interesting implications for managers, practitioners and governmental bodies. A more efficient healthcare system could provide better results in terms of cost minimization and reduction of hospitalization period. Moreover, dissemination of new scientific knowledge and drivers of specialization enhances best practices sharing in the healthcare sector. On the other hand, an improvement in preventive medicine practices could help in reducing the overload of demand for curative treatments, on the perspective of sharply decreasing the avoidable deaths rate and improving societal standards.

Originality/value

The authors provide a new holistic framework on the relationship between IC, BDA and organizational performance in healthcare organizations through a systematic review approach and an empirical panel analysis at a multinational level, which is quite a novelty regarding the healthcare. There is little research focussed on healthcare industries' organizational performance, and, specifically, most of the research on IC in healthcare delivered results in terms of theoretical contribution and qualitative analyzes. The authors even contributed to analyze the healthcare industry in the light of the possible existence of synergies and networks among countries.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

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