Is German for “I’ll be back!”
Researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), have built a scary looking anthropomorphic robot hand that can endure collisions with hard objects, such as getting hit with a baseball bat—a 66 G impact.
Robustness, or Robustheit was the key word for the German researchers when designing this robot hand, which IEEE Spectrum’s Editor Erico Guizzo believes may be the toughest robot hand yet.
The robot hand is the same shape and size as a human hand with 5 individually moving fingers that can exert a force of up to 30 newtons at the fingertips, and 38 tendons, which are each connected to an individual motor on the robot’s forearm. The motors control tension of the tendons in, allowing the hand to absorb violent shocks.
Watch it all the way to the end of the video to see the robot’s hand withstand the whack of a hammer.
At first I was a bit worried about what hand holding in the future would be like, but Guizzo points out that the robot hand can detect whether an object is soft and must be handled more gently by measuring the force and keeping track of the elongation through its spring mechanisms.
Markus Grebenstein, the hand’s lead designer, estimates the cost of the hardware for one hand is between 70,000 and 100,000 euros. Next, they will build a complete two-arm torso called the DLR Hand Arm System.