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An artificial hand built in the UK has fingertip sensors that let it
grasp delicate objects without crushing or dropping them.
A previous prototype has proved itself capable of grappling with
door keys and twisting the lid off a jar.
The latest incarnation not only moves more like a real hand but
also has improved sense of touch.
Its developers hope that the robotic hand could eventually give
amputees greater dexterity and deftness of touch via a prosthetic
Like some existing mechanical prosthetics, it could be controlled by connecting its motors to nerves in an amputee's arm, shoulder or
Pressure sensors in each fingertip connect to a control system
that maintains the hand's grip.
"If a hand without them held a polystyrene cup it would just crush
it," White explains.
By contrast, the new hand uses feedback from its sensors to
prevent each finger from closing further, once an object is gripped.