Bionic hand shows the serious side of humanoid robotics
We all love humanoid robots duking it out in the ring or flipping off a horizontal bar. But all that technology development has a more serious use as well: helping restore function and autonomy to disabled people.
A great example is the BeBionic3 robotic hand, one of the most advanced bionic hands in the world. A new video shows user Nigel Ackland putting the arm through its paces.
The hand features eight different preprogrammed motions, which are selected by the wearer by flexing two muscles in the stump. These motions have been carefully designed to perform common tasks, such as gripping objects of various sizes, typing, shaking hands, and so on.
All this is essentially the same technology that goes into a humanoid robot. You have servos, programmed with scripted motions triggered by a controller, and probably adjusted via sensory feedback. The power and weight issues are the same as well. And someday, when our humanoid robots are truly human-sized, the very same hardware could be used both for prosthetics and for robotics.