New robot by Meltant can replicate human hand movements, like handling delicate objects and opening doors. This is apparently the only robotic hand that’s been able to replicate the speed of human hands. (Photo via Meltant)
One Japanese company is taking humanoid robots to the next level. Robotics company Meltant recently introduced its new bot which mimics human movement with scary accuracy. They call it a “cyborg that transcends boundaries.” The company took inspiration from bio-signals that pass through nerves in the human body. They created a unique bio-signal processing algorithm that allows the robot to make precise movements.
The concept model was developed by Japanese tech firm Meltin, and it aims to copy the way a human hand moves as accurately as possible, but with a bit more flexibility, power, and precision. The test video shows a futuristic robot easily wiggling its fingers, opening a water bottle after a few tries, and grabbing things with little trouble. The company claims it’s the only robotic hand that’s been able to mimic the speed of movement of the human hand.
Thanks to its technology, inspired by living organisms, it has added strength that allows it to shake a 500ml bottle filled with delicate liquids. While it can move on its own, it can also be operated remotely. The video shows an operator using special controls and foot pedals to guide the bot’s movements. The robot copies the operator’s gestures with ease. It responds to its operator within 0.02 seconds.
Not only is the robot agile, it’s strong as well. Meltant’s bot is designed to take on the harshest environments. The power mechanisms it uses are made to disperse the load on its actuators. If an actuator happens to break, its design lets other functioning actuators to maintain movement. It also uses elastic high polymer wires to give it high impact resistance.
Watching the robot move and handle delicate objects with ease is mesmerizing. It could also change the way we think about robotic limbs. If the technology can be adapted for medical use, it could greatly improve prosthetic limbs. That’s not to say robotic limbs haven’t come far already. One little girl not only shows how from the technology has come but how it doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants.
8-year-old Hailey Dawson suffers from Poland syndrome, a rare birth defect that caused her to be born without three fingers on her right hand and without a right pectoral muscle. Due to this, she uses a robotic arm to help her go about her daily life. Now she’s on a mission to throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. When she was 4, Hailey’s family teamed up with the engineering team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to work on an arm. They took a mold of Hailey’s hand, and 3D printed a robotic arm.
With some refitting and physical therapy, she eventually learned how to write her name and throw a ball. That’s when her family, who are huge baseball fans, got the idea about her throwing out first pitches at baseball games. She started with pitching for a minor league team in Vegas in 2015, and now, she’s close to achieving her goal. She does it to not only show anything is possible but to raise awareness and money for the cause. She’s trying to raise enough for the UNLV so the team can create and donate similar hands to hers.