Robotic artificial hands make light work

26th Jun 2007 | 23:00

Robotic artificial hands make light work

Delicate manoeuvres the specialty of air-driven robot hand

Outside of sci-fi movies, the real-world robots we've seen so far are generally about as graceful as a top female tennis player, so there's no way anyone would want to entrust one with, say, picking up a batch of raw eggs. Fortunately, that has all changed thanks to a new robot from Japan that can do just that.

Kyoto-based Squse has come up with a robotic hand that is specifically designed to handle delicate objects without damaging or breaking them. At a demonstration yesterday it picked up a raw egg and demonstrated that it could effectively wield a pen.

Gentle touch

The secret to the gentle grip of the artificial hand lies in using 'air muscles' to apply just enough pressure to pick something up but not so much as to alter its shape.

The company has already prepared 50 of the hands for research institutions to, ahem, get to grips with and predicts that practical applications may be as little as five years away.


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