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’World’s strongest’ robotic hand can cut paper, hold eggs — and even play the piano

The Korean robot mimics the structure and the motion of human fingers

Researchers have unveiled a robotic hand that can serve drinks, pick up eggs, cut paper with scissors, and even play a few notes on the piano.

The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) claims that the device offers the world’s strongest grasping force measured against its own weight.

The hand is comprised of four fingers and 16 joints, which are all moved independently by 12 individual motors. This design intends to replicate the movements of human fingers.

Sensors attached to the fingertips, palm and fingers detect contact with objects. When the hand touches the object, the sensors measure the grasping force that’s required to handle it.

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The hand can be mounted on a variety of robotic arms. It weighs less than 1 kg but can hold objects of more than three times that weight.

The hand is equipped with both force sensors and 'skin-type' tactile sensors
Credit: Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM)
The hand is equipped with both sensors and ‘skin-type’ tactile sensors

“The robot hand was developed to handle various objects including the tools used in everyday life by mimicking the delicate motion of a human hand,” Dr. Hyunmin Do, the leader of the research team, said in a statement.

“It is also expected to be used as a research platform for studying the grasping algorithm of robot hand and manipulation intelligence.”

While its efforts to tickle the ivory (click through for videos) won’t leave maestros shaking on their piano stools, the strength of the robot hand is in its versatility. The researchers believe this will lead it to be used on industrial sites, as well as for everyday manual tasks.

 

 

Published February 11, 2020 — 11:52 UTC