Helping Hands

Technology Review (9/28, Grifantini) reports, “Researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities have developed a simple, soft robotic hand that can grab a range of objects delicately, and which automatically adjusts its fingers to get a good grip. The new hand could also potentially be useful as a prosthetic arm.” Unlike other soft robotic hands, this one “has just a few sensors and a single motor, but can pick up a variety of objects with the flexibility of a human hand.” The researchers noted that “people do not normally use a rigid grasp, but keep their fingers relaxed” when reaching for an object in order “to avoid knocking the object over.” Similarly, “making the robotic hand flexible allows it to pick up objects even with minor calculation errors” while “embedded sensors…allow the new hand to feel an object and adjust its grip.”

 

From ASEE First Bell, September 28, 2009.  All rights reserved.

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