High-Speed Robot Hand

Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:23am

The Ishikawa Komuro Lab in Japan is developing some robotic “hand” technology that far outpaces its human counterparts. Using high-speed actuators with harmonic drive gears, the hand can open and close in 1/10 of a second. In addition, tactile sensors inside the fingers allow the robotic hand to grasp and handle almost any object with a grace normally reserved for humans. To make everything come together, a high-speed camera taking in the action at 1000fps enables tracking of precise movements.

The video shows the robotic hand doing everything from dribbling, spinning a pen between its “fingers,” and playing “cell phone catch” with itself. Personally, I’m entranced by how easily it picks up single grains of rice. Forget the chopsticks — I’ll bring one of these along the next time I’m out for sushi.


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