Dextrous robotic hand gets thumbs up

Aug 02, 2012

European researchers said Thursday they had developed the world's first real-sized, five-fingered robotic hand able to grasp and manipulate objects with human-like dexterity.

Getting robots to manoeuvre objects with precision has posed many problems for engineers in their quest to build humanoid machines to serve as domestic aides, emergency or factory workers.

Industrial robotic "grippers" already exist that are able to grasp objects and move them but are unable to handle items as a human hand would -- grasping an egg without breaking it but also lifting heavy, bulky things.

It has also proved difficult to size prototypes on human measurements.

The team from Italy and Germany built a hand using strings that are twisted by small, high-speed motors in five fingers, each with three segments.

Dubbed the Dexmart Hand, the device was able to handle a delicate Easter egg and lift a five kilogram load, the team reported.

"We used the human hand as our model," researcher Claudio Melchiorri from Italy's University of Bologna said in a statement issued by CORDIS Features, an agency that highlights EU-funded technological research.

"This provides the ultimate example of dextrous manipulation."

The hand also has a primitive "brain".

were attached to the hand, making it possible to calculate the force required for the fingers to grasp an object without squashing it or losing its grip.

"The capability of the is so near to that of humans that the vision of robots as personal assistants in the household, in the as well as in industrial settings is becoming ever more realistic," said fellow Bologna researcher Gianluca Palli.

Explore further: Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cockroach inspires robotic hand to get a grip

Jan 10, 2011

No one thinks twice about picking up a cup of coffee, but this task has vexed robots for three decades. A new type of mechanical hand developed by researchers at Harvard and Yale promises to solve this problem. ...

Soft grip: Pneumatic elastomers as robotic arms

Jan 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- It looks like a starfish made of soft plastic. When air is blown into it through a thin tube it comes to life and the starfish closes like a hand. It does this so gently that it can grasp ...

Robotic hand nearly identical to a human one (w/ Video)

Feb 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- When it comes to finding the single best tool for building, digging, grasping, drawing, writing, and many other tasks, nothing beats the human hand. Human hands have evolved over millions ...

Scientists develop 'clever' artificial hand

Sep 07, 2005

Scientists have developed a new ultra-light limb that can mimic the movement in a real hand better than any currently available. This research was presented today at the Institute of Physics conference Sensors and their Applications ...

Recommended for you

Robots lending a helping hand to build planes

Aug 26, 2014

Trying to squeeze into small enclosed areas, carrying out highly repetitive tasks, retiring with back injuries even while your expertise is needed: these everyday realities of working in aviation construction ...

C2D2 fighting corrosion

Aug 22, 2014

Bridges become an infrastructure problem as they get older, as de-icing salt and carbon dioxide gradually destroy the reinforced concrete. A new robot can now check the condition of these structures, even ...

Meet the "swarmies"- robotics' answer to bugs

Aug 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —A small band of NASA engineers and interns is about to begin testing a group of robots and related software that will show whether it's possible for autonomous machines to scurry about an alien ...

User comments : 0