The Belgrade Hand
The first intensive research in the field of robotics in Serbia began in the 1960’s at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute, where the so-called Belgrade School of Robotics was established. Professors at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade Rajko Tomović and Miodrag Rakić, began pioneering work on making an artificial hand in 1963. In the same year, at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute they constructed a model of the world’s first prosthetic robotic hand with an external power supply. The hand had five fingers, microelectronic control and sensory feedback. It made it possible to grasp objects with bent and outstretched fingers. This model of the multifunctional external hand prosthesis is known in the world as the Belgrade Hand
It was the first human-like self-adaptive artificial hand with four fingers and the thumb in the size of a human hand. The finger-tips were equipped with pressure sensors, an the hand interfaced the forearm by the wrist which allowed hand pronation and supination. The control method was designed based on heuristics gained by trying to mimic the human grasping. The control implemented the principle of adaptation of the grasp pattern which maximized the contact area between the object and the hand. The self-adaptation was made possible by the intelligent mechanics that used only on a single electrical actuator to control all fingers and the thumb. After the user initiated volitionally the grasp the actuator started flexing the fingers and the thumb. When the fingertips contacted the targeted object, the actuator continued with flexing all fingers and the thumb until the pressure was equalized among them. This made the hand shape adaptive without any voluntary effort of the user. The self-adaptation allowed the palmar, lateral and precision grasps.
Although it was not used as an orthopaedic aid, the Belgrade Hand is significant because in the follow-up research it influenced the development of robotic arms in the world. By developing new versions, a team of engineers from the Institute worked on improving its adaptability. The work on the robotic hand intensified the activities in the field of robotics at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute, so in 1967 the Robotics Laboratory was founded as the first one in the South-eastern Europe.
Expert collaboration: Ivan Stanić, curator of the Museum of Science and Technology, Belgrade and Аcademician Prof. Dr Dejan Popović, Serbian Academy оf Sciences аnd Arts
Artistic realization of the issue: Boban Savić MA, academic painter
Ljubomir Klerić (1844 – 1910)
Ljubomir Klerić (born Julius Clery, Subotica 29 June 1844 – Belgrade 21 January 1910), was a mining engineer, geologist, scientist, constructor, inventor, founder of the Serbian school of mechanical engineering and mechanics, university professor, a member of the Serbian Learned Society, the Serbian Royal Academy (today Serbian Academy of Science and Arts), Hungarian Academy of Science, proposed Nikola Tesla to become a corresponding member of the Serbian Royal Academy, participated in the Serbian – Turkish wars, was the minister of education and the minister of economy, a state counsellor, a dean of the Faculty of Technics at the Great School in Belgrade, a member of the Commission for forming the University of Belgrade, etc.
He finished primary school in Subotica and graduated from the gymnasium in Belgrade. After the second year at the Great School, he was sent to the Mining Academy in Freiberg. During his studies, he spent one term in Zurich Polytechnic School to study mechanical engineering. He continued studying specialist courses at the Mining Academy in Berlin.
As a mining engineer of a comprehensive top education, Mr. Klerić belongs to the people who open, guide and create new directions in the field of engineering. His scientific and professional work in mining, geology, mechanical engineering, mathematics, mechanics, telemetry and analogous computing can confirm that
He was exploring the deposits of mercury and opened a mine on Avala, and surveyed the conditions of the mines on Venčac, Rudnik and Kosmaj, and during the railroad building on the route Ćuprija – Aleksinac, he did the geological explorations and also explored the deposits of iron near Oran in Africa. On behalf of Serbian Government, in Budapest he was in charge of the control over the project and testing of the stone quality for the construction of the Sava Bridge, etc.
He is a constructor of a soil drill machine, mining cartridges, underwater mines, tractography, telemeter, polar pantograph, and the device for drawing the second-line curves. At the Great School he was elected a full-time professor for subject Mechanics and Science of Machines, and when this subject was divided in two courses, he took over the subject Theoretical Mechanics. He founded two Departments of the Great School: Department for Descriptive Geometry with Projective Geometry and Graphics-Statics and the Department on the dry and water construction.
He was the author of numerous scientific papers and discussion, coursebook Theoretical Mechanics (three books, 1317 pages) and two monographies: Current Results in Kinematics and Tractoriograph. For his war merits he was decorated with the Medal for Courage and Takovo Cross. He was also decorated with the Belgian King Leopold II Medal.
Expert collaboration: Ivan Stanić, curator of the Museum of Science and Technology, Belgrade and Аcademician Prof. Dr Dejan Popović, Serbian
Artistic realization of the issue: Boban Savić, MA, academic painter.