DARPA invents cheap, precise robot hand

Dan Seitz Contributing Writer, Tech

Getting a robot hand that can pick something up is fairly cheap and easy. Getting a robot hand that can work like a human hand, performing small, complex movement, is not easy and therefore really, really not cheap. As in, $250,000. Leave it to the government to invent the first robot hand that can imitate a human one perfectly.

We know what you’re thinking but no, they made it for disarming bombs.

Sandia National Labs has built the creatively named Sandia Hand. The “fingers” are attached magnetically to the palm, meaning that if something blows up, the fingers “break” at a point of contact, leaving the hand itself largely intact to be reassembled. Here’s a video of it be assembled and put to work:

So what was wrong with other robot hands that the military had to get involved? Essentially, previous robot hands were designed to detonate bombs… which tends to destroy any evidence like fingerprints on said device. With this new, cheaper, and more dexterous robot hand, they can actually disarm bombs.

As for… other applications, this costs $10,000 a pop, so don’t count on it anytime soon.

Sandia Modular Robot Hand [Gizmag]

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