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Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial
Science and Technology (AIST) have succeeded in boosting the
manual skills of blue-collar droids by developing a robust and
dexterous human-sized robotic hand.
AIST’s multi-fingered hand, which is designed for use on life-sized
humanoid robots, is a significant improvement over previous
robot hands, which for the most part have either been too bulky
or had fingers that were too weak.
Humanoid robot hands in the past have tended to lack versatility
and dexterity because they were designed to handle a narrow
range of specific tasks or had too much emphasis placed on
AIST’s four-fingered hand is about the size of an adult male
human hand, measuring 18 cm from wrist to fingertip and 8.4
cm across the palm. Each of the three fingers and thumb are
capable of exerting 15 Newtons of fingertip force — also similar
to the human hand.
To mimic the movement of human hands, each finger has 4 joints
and the thumb has 5 joints.
The hand is equipped with mechanisms that reduce backlash,
resulting in smoother finger operation and higher-precision
control of fingertip position.
In addition, the drive mechanisms provide ample force to the
fingertips for a strong grip, and compact sensors in the fingertips
ensure the accurate application of force.
With further tests to improve the hand’s mechanics and software,
AIST aims to develop a human level of dexterity for the hand.
This development could mean that with the android population
explosion looming on the horizon, we may soon begin to see
working class robots equipped with the right hands to take on our