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Robotics Technology Science

Making Robots Mimic the Human Hand 43

RougeFemme writes "As part of a research project to develop low-cost artificial hands, DARPA has developed a two-hand robot that can almost change a tire. Research has mastered grasping objects with robotic hands; the next objective is to manipulate the objects once grasped. Research also continues on a neural interface, a direct link between a robotic arm and the human brain. The ultimate goal of the research project is to develop prostethics and robotic arms for wider use, by reducing cost and improving dexterity and machine vision."
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Making Robots Mimic the Human Hand

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can the robot jerk off?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Can the robot jerk off?

      I've seen the episode of Big Bang Theory where the answer is 'yes', so yes.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Yes, but it takes the command a bit too literally, and has you singing like Michael Jackson

    • This does sound 'handy'.

  • I would never let that thing near my car, look how it trashes the lug treads.
  • A nanobot swarm could become any shape you want it to be.

  • Almost? (Score:1, Troll)

    by Cyfun ( 667564 )

    Almost change a tire? Incredible! What's next? A medical robot that can almost save a person's life?

  • Give them a small unique trait or feature, a camera, a mirror
    and lots of competition.

  • we will all need some kind of basic income and health care before the bots take most of the jobs

    • Our healthcare system will change to become one where all health problems are treated by replacing the faulty biological "part" with a robotic implant, until we all eventually become the robots that replaced us.

    • We could all go to trade school full time and be each other's apprentices.

      Rather surprised you didn't suggest that.

    • Yes, and we should be planning for that now! Our path out of any technological singularity may have a lot to do with our path into it, and that path includes our politics and socio-economics. Are we going to wait twenty years until most human labor has little value even in most service industries? [] [] []

      Other thing we can do beyond a basic income include expanding our gift economy,

    • See also: []
      "In the United Federation of Planets, Replicators and other advanced technologies provide for virtually all basic material wants and needs equally and sufficiently to all. Every citizen of the Federation has plenty of food of virtually any type they want, clothes, shelter, recreational and luxury items, and has all their basic material needs easily met. A society based around self-improvement and collectively improving the human race instead of cutthro

    • If you are an European citizen, then please sign this [].

      This is a citizen's initiative to explore basic income guarantee - if it gets 1M+ signatures before January 2014, budget will be allocated to this.
  • But the porn industry is always at the forefront of all stuff tech, so they will more than likely be the first one to have an advanced robot model capable of handjobs.....
  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @09:42PM (#43321839)
    Just the thing I need when I almost need a tire changed.
    • by hicksw ( 716194 )

      Just the thing I need when I almost need a tire changed.

      Perhaps you might have meant:

      Just the thing I need when I need a tire almost changed.

      Or not.
      Maybe this hell is another planet's heaven. Heaven help them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean, even I can ALMOST change a tyre.

  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @11:14PM (#43322207) Homepage Journal

    I can almost watch the video. Come on ny times is an mp4 really that hard? 30% of all Internet traffic is on a mobile device.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @12:04AM (#43322345) Homepage

    DARPA has had some of those two-handed robots for a few years now, and has researchers working with them. So far, the results have been disappointing. They can pick up a screwdriver, but not use it. Robots manipulating a powered socket wrench in a well-defined environment aren't a big deal; auto assembly lines have had those for years. Putting a key in a lock, slowly, is about the upper limit of that project.

    Part of the problem is that simulators for manipulation aren't very good. Willow Garage is funded to take the current version of the Gazebo simulator and make it work for manipulation. But I doubt they'll be able to make it good enough to do manipulation using force feedback. The physics engines they're using are for game physics; they cheat on frictional contacts. You need a really good simulator to debug control software for putting a nut on a bolt by feel.

  • Howard: CAN YOU PLEASE, just, help me?!

    Althea: Alright, alright, hang on, stay calm. I need an orderly with a wheelchair, I got a robot hand grasping a man's penis out here.

    Howard: You think you could be a little more discrete?!

    Althea: I'm sorry, we don't have a code for a robot hand grasping a man's penis [].
  • We now have a robot that can remove our tires.

    What hath we wrought!?

    What when this thing escapes the lab and goes feral on city streets?

    We puny humans may be able to guard our cars against this menace. But what of the self-driving Googlecars? They will be helpless against its stealth attacks.

    We invented the wheel, we should not just give that up to the robots or it'll be Judgement Day all over again.

  • ISTM that changing an offside tyre on a busy motorway is probably more dangerous than defusing a bomb.
  • Whoopee? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:52AM (#43323641) Homepage Journal

    I do a lot of actual work these days (as opposed to key-punching) and you might say I am highly in touch with the amazing abilities of the human hand. Sex life aside, the sheer sensitivity and flexibility of the hand is awesome to consider. There's no robot yet that can pick arbitrary parts out of a bin (or, say, out of some gravel) and hold them in one part of its gripper while another part feels for the part's mounting location, then advance the parts into place (rotating them into the proper position as they go) and finally be able to push, twist, etc. in such a broad variety of fashions in order to install it... and then follow that trick up by picking up a tool to finish the job.

    We're a long, long way from a good mimic of the human hand. It's not clear that anything in between a good one and what we have now is particularly useful as compared to purpose-made manipulators. Robots aren't that great at navigating varied terrain anyway, so using purpose-built robots isn't a big problem. We have to deliver them, regardless.

  • it would impress much more if the movement was done by some sort of muscle contracting mechanism instead of step or dc motors. why no one is developing it?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Amazon has warehouses without lights or people and there exists a $100,000 machine that can make hamburgers (pitched to unemploy parts of McDonalds).

    For industry - this technology will work to unemploy more people. FOXCOMs answer to charges of labor abuses is to move to robotic assembly lines. MasterLock used to employ 1000's - and moved production back to the US of A once robots could replace most of thoes workers.

    For DARPA - the farther a human is from the killing another human, the "eaiser" war is to

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is changing a wheel; that's removing a few nuts from some studs and doing an orientation for refit. Changing a tyre is something entirely different.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter