A new 3D printed robotic hand, which is able to match human motion and dexterity, is being created from scans of human hands and motion sensor technology. Thanks to research being conducted at the University of Washington, a hand has been built of durable plastics and uses ten motors for movement. Video shows a researcher wearing a motion-sensor glove that detects his movements and sends a signal to the robotic hand to make the same movements. The problem with biomimetic robots in the past has been an inability to accurately simulate the complexities of human motion. By scanning a skeleton hand, researchers were able to 3D print their robotic parts accurately to mimic the motions a human hand is capable of making. This will lead to developments both in medical practices for amputees as well as motion-sensor robotics.
MIT researchers recently turned to 3D printing in order to build a mobile robot. Leveraging one advantage of 3D printing, the robot’s body was printed in one piece capable of movement using hydraulics. Both in universities and at home, roboticists are looking more to 3D printing to build unique parts, rapid prototypes, and even robotic prostheses. Though the relationship between the two industries is just beginning to gain momentum, there are already myriad ways in which 3D printing has opened up possibilities for makers and businesses in the field of robotics.