A robotic hand with self-adaptation learning skills is not a visual from the Terminator franchise. The technologic advancements of today are absolutely mind-altering.
A University of Washington robotics research team has developed a robotic mechanism that looks like a five-fingered hand with self-adaptation or skills.
The robotic hand is almost strangely dexterous, and its mechanization is based on software that teaches it to learn from its mistakes. After a few trials, the hand senses friction and force factors and learns from this feedback how to move objects in the field of its grip.
The hand is very fast. While it may start a task like spinning a stick slowly, over time, its speed increases dramatically. These slower times show the ability of the machine to learn on itself rather than have a programmer write code after code to make it do the required task.
Of course, everybody knows hand manipulation is an exceedingly challenging task the robotic field “had” to solve. And while there are many robots capable of maneuvering objects, these robots generally use suction or grips.
But it looks like the robotic hand built by the University of Washington researchers is in the words of Vikash Kumar, leader of the team’s project, “one of the most highly capable five-fingered robot hands in the world”.
Not only is the hand highly capable, but it also has the mentioned outperforming software. Machine learning algorithms are telling the robotic hand which physics problems are involved and what action should be taken next, much like we humans learn from patterns and steps. And the result looks eerily real.
However, this “show” did not come cheap.
To build the robotic hand, it cost somewhere around $300,000. It is equipped with a “shadow skeleton”, a custom made pneumatic system moving the hand faster than any other human hand.
It’s too expensive to commercialize or industrialize it, but its availability allows researchers to test further core robotic and new technologies.
After using an army of specialists and spending years to create it, the Indian-American team of experts at the University of Washington is proud to have created a robotic hand with self-adaptation skills, the envy of the robotics researchers everywhere.
Image source: Youtube