A new robotic hand (DART) approaches the functionality of a human hand.
(PhysOrg.com) -- When it comes to finding the single best tool for building, digging, grasping, drawing, writing, and many other tasks, nothing beats the human hand. Human hands have evolved over millions of years into four fingers and a thumb that can precisely manipulate a wide variety of objects. In a recent study, researchers have attempted to recreate the human hand by building a biomimetic robotic hand that they have optimized to achieve near-human appearance and performance.
The researchers, Nicholas Thayer and Shashank Priya from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, have published their study on the robotic hand in a recent issue of Smart Materials and Structures.
The researchers call the hand a dexterous anthropomorphic robotic typing hand, or DART hand, as the main objective was to demonstrate that the hand could type on a computer keyboard. They showed that a single DART hand could type at a rate of 20 words per minute, compared to the average human typing speed of 33 words per minute with two hands. The researchers predict that two DART hands could type at least 30 words per minute. Ultimately, the DART hand could be integrated into a humanoid robot for assisting the elderly or disabled people, performing tasks such as typing, reaching objects, and opening doors. Read more here.