This has to be the most realistic robotic hand ever!

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Creating robotic hands can prove to be quite a challenge. The difficulty is usually because there are two main issues that need to be addressed before the hand can be made. The first one is the form of the hand - how do you we want it to look like? The second is the range of functions the hand should be able to perform.

robotic hand[Image Source: Movement Control Laboratory/University of Washington]

Tackling these two issues is almost like a paradox. If we manage to make a robotic hand that has a wide range of functions, chances are the hand will look very unattractive. Similarly, a decent looking robotic hand is not expected to be able to perform complex tasks.

Given all these pieces of information, the work by a group of researchers from the University of Washington suddenly looks much more impressive. What they tried to do is create a robotic hand that not only looks very realistic, but it also performs complex hand movements with an incredible amount of precision.

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They started building the robotic hand from basically nothing, taking a laser scan of the human skeleton and using that to build bones with a 3D printer. They also used Spectra strings to replicate the effect of joint ligaments and help with the stability.

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As for the muscles, ten Dynamixel servos routed with cables were used in order to replicate the carpel tunnel, just like the human hand. The result of this is a very realistic robotic hand that can mimic the movements of a human hand with incredible accuracy.

robotic hand movements[Image Source: Movement Control Laboratory/University of Washington]

As opposed to other robotic hands that have predefined movements as written by a programmer, this one moves in a very unique way. All you have to do is wear a special glove and move your hand as you wish. The robot should be able to mimic your movements with relative ease.

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