Robotic hand nearly identical to a human one with 20WPM and ready to embrace infinite monkey theorem.Engineers built this Dexterous Anthropomorphic Robotic Typing (DART) hand to mimic the real deal and down to individually-actuating three-segment digits and 110 degrees of wrist rotation in a package the size of a real human arm………
Human hands have evolved over millions of years into four fingers and a thumb that can precisely manipulate a wide variety of objects. In a recent study, researchers have attempted to recreate the human hand by building a biomimetic robotic hand that they have optimized to achieve near-human appearance and performance.The researchers, Nicholas Thayer and Shashank Priya from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia have published their study on the robotic hand in a recent issue of Smart Materials and Structures.
The researchers call the hand a dexterous anthropomorphic robotic typing hand or DART hand, as the main objective was to demonstrate that the hand could type on a computer keyboard. They showed that a single DART hand could type at a rate of 20 words per minute, compared to the average human typing speed of 33 words per minute with two hands. The researchers predict that two DART hands could type at least 30 words per minute. Ultimately, the DART hand could be integrated into a humanoid robot for assisting the elderly or disabled people, performing tasks such as typing, reaching objects and opening doors.
The human hand has about 40 muscles that provide 23 degrees of freedom in the hand and wrist. To replicate these muscles, the researchers used servo motors and wires extending throughout the robotic hand, wrist and forearm. The robotic hand encompassed a total of 19 motors and achieved 19 degrees of freedom.One small difference between the DART hand and the human hand is that each finger in the robotic hand is controlled independently. In the human hand, muscles are sometimes connected at the tendons so they can move joints in more than one finger.
The robotic hand can be controlled by input text which comes from either a keyboard or a voice recognition program.When typing finger receives a command to position itself above the correct letter on the keyboard. The finger presses the key with a specific force and the letter is checked for accuracy; if there is a typo, the hand presses the delete key.During the past several years, robotic hands with varying numbers of fingers have been developed for a variety of purposes, from prosthetics to manufacturing. But as far as the researchers know, no robotic hand can accurately type at a keyboard at human speed. When the researchers compared the functional potential of the DART hand to other robotic hands, the DART hand had an overall functional advantage.