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Scientists Smash a Super-Tough Robotic Hand With a Hammer.
By Admin (from 01/04/2011 @ 14:00:15, in en - Video Alert, read 1489 times)

German robotics researchers have built a hyper-strong hand that can withstand hammer blows!

This hand and its high-tech robophalanges come to you courtesy of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.).

The DLR hand is one of the most durable robotic hands ever built and was specifically built tough for jobs that might ding it up.

As IE EE Spectrum describes: The hand has the shape and size of a human hand, with five articulated fingers powered by a web of 38 tendons, each connected to an individual motor on the forearm.
The main capability that makes the DLR hand different from other robot hands is that it can control its stiffness. The motors can tension the tendons, allowing the hand to absorb violent shocks. In one test, the researchers hit the hand with a baseball bat-a 66 G impact. The hand survived.

The hand has a total of 19 degrees of freedom, or only one less than the real thing, and it can move the fingers independently to grasp varied objects. The fingers can exert a force of up to 30 newtons at the fingertips, which makes this hand also one of the strongest ever built.

Additionally, the hand can catch heavy balls, adjust its level of stiffness to accomplish tasks that require a daintier touch, and snap its fingers. That's right, we're looking at the next star of the future's all-robot revue of West Side Story.

This type of robot, which is so incredibly versaitile, can be applied in a number of areas. It could, for example, be used for manufacturing. In places where handling the product demands high strenght and durability. Or in places where machines are endangered of being damaged, like mining.   On the other side, it also helps to give robot hands the flexibility of the human hand, with a dozen times its strenght. This could prove very usefull in household robots, for example.

Source: PopSci