Though most modern prosthetic hands try to look like the real things, their underlying mechanics are typically based in the world of man made machines rather than evolutionary biology. Two researchers at the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering have now created what they believe is the most biomimetic artificial hand ever made.
The new device was developed by initially studying the human hand from an engineering perspective, as though it’s just another mechanical gizmo. Scans were taken and copies of bone were 3D printed to make things as realistic as possible. The researchers identified many characteristics that give the human hand its unique abilities, and utilized traditional mechanical components to replicate those qualities. They used pulley mechanisms, artificial joint capsules, crocheted ligaments and tendons, and other devices for this task.
The paper that will be presented at the ICRA in Stockholm, Sweden this coming May: Design of a Highly Biomimetic Anthropomorphic Robotic Hand towards Artificial Limb Regeneration.