Engineers at the University of Washington managed to built a robotic hand disturbingly similar to the real, flesh and blood one.
Zhe Xu and Emanuel Todorov, the developers, used plastic components that take the appearance of human bones and anatomical elements extremely similar to those found in the human body. Artificial joint capsules, crocheted ligaments and tendons, laser-cut extensor hood and elastic pulley mechanisms are the “wow” factors that make their creation an amazing one.
Named the “most detailed and kinematically accurate biomimetic anthropomorphic robotic hand that we’ve ever seen” by Evan Ackerman from IEEE Spectrum , this hand can grip a softball and a CD, hold a pen and wiggle its fingers as any human would. The uncanny similarity to the human hand and the advancements researchers made to get here means that it could soon be seen as “a bio-fabricated device/scaffold” in the fields of neuroprosthetics and limb regeneration.
The creators’ desire is to use it for artificial tissue regeneration, although they might be waiting for a while since testing technology on a lab rat is very different than working on actual people.