Scientists are working on more versatile and smaller robots as time passes and technology positively evolves. This evolution is registered, for example, in 3D printing, which was already able to create solid and secure houses. In this case, scientists have printed a robotic hand capable of playing Nintendo.
That one managed to finish the first level of Super Mario Bros. in less than 90 seconds.
A team of Bioinspired Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory from the University of Maryland, 3D printed a robotic hand. Led by assistant professor Ryan Sochol, it devised integrated circuits that can be controlled by applying pressure. That is, to move the first finger, low pressure was applied; to move the second, moderate pressure; to move the third, higher pressure was applied.
In this way, the researchers were able to program the robotic hand and teach it about the moments when it should jump or walk during the game, being adjusted according to pressure levels. To test her accuracy, they had her playing Super Mario Bros. on a Nintendo system. After all, the gameplay leaves little room for error, being a real challenge.
Being printed in 3D broke one of the obstacles of the robotic hand.
A investigation making more intuitive and sensitive robots has been a challenge for the industry worldwide. This is because its design requires a very high physical effort. For that reason, the team used 3D printing to create the robotic hand – the ‘PolyJet 3D’. This allows simultaneous printing using different materials. In addition, scientists were able to print various components and fix them within a day.
The robotic hand, operated by software programmed to cycle between low, medium and high pressures, was able to press the buttons on the controller and successfully complete the first level of the Super Mario Bros game in less than 90 seconds .
Subsequently, and building on this achievement with the robotic hand, the team intends to use their research and direct efforts to design personalized prostheses and rehabilitation devices. In fact, the team shared their design, in order to encourage other researchers to modify and adapt it to their projects.
Source: Pplware by pplware.sapo.pt.
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