Complex Robotic Hand Feels Through “Skin”

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Researchers have designed a low-cost, energy-efficient robotic hand that can grasp a range of objects—and not drop them—using just the movement of its wrist and the feeling in its “skin.”

Researchers from the University of Cambridge designed a soft, 3D printed robotic hand that cannot independently move its fingers but can still carry out a range of complex movements.

The robot hand was trained to grasp different objects and was able to predict whether it would drop them by using the information provided from sensors placed on its “skin.”

This type of passive movement makes the robot far easier to control and far more energy-efficient than robots with fully motorized fingers. The researchers say their adaptable design could be used in the development of low-cost robotics that are capable of more natural movement and can learn to grasp a wide range of objects.

The results are reported in the journal Advanced Intelligent Systems and reviewed by