Robot Hand Looks And Acts Like The Real Thing

Throughout history, visions of the future included human-looking robots. These days we have plenty of robots, but they don’t look like people. They look like disembodied arms, cars, and over-sized hockey pucks concealing a vacuum cleaner. Of course there’s still demand for humanoid robots like Commander Data, but there are many challenges: eyes, legs, skin, and hands. A company known as Clone may have the solution for that last item. The Clone Hand is “the most human-level musculoskeletal hand in the world,” according to the company’s website.

The 0.75 kg hand and forearm offer 24 degrees of freedom and two hours of battery life. It sports 37 muscles and carbon fiber bones. The muscle fibers can cycle over 650,000 times. You can watch the hand in action in the video below.

There is a hydraulic pump that the company likens in size to a human heart. The hand can also sense for feedback purposes. If you want to build your own, you’ll have to figure it out yourself. The Clone Hand is proprietary, but it does show what is in the art of the possible. The company claims they cost under $3,000, but it isn’t clear if that’s their cost or a projected future retail price.

Of course, human hands aren’t always the perfect robot manipulator. But when you need a realistic hand, you really need it. We see a lot of attempts at realistic hands, and we have to say they are getting better.

25 thoughts on “Robot Hand Looks And Acts Like The Real Thing

    1. Well the best replacement for a human arm is another human arm but until we can get the secret of limb regrowth out of the salamanders (closed mouth little SOBs!) I guess this will have to do.

  1. It’s like a mime doing the robot dance.
    They really need to work on the jerky movement. It’s creepy AF!
    And as @robertrapplean said, that thumb needs some attention.
    It’d be a good alternative to some other prosthetic hands if they can iron out those two little issues, and provide haptic feedback to the user.

  2. Really want to know how useful that hand can actually be – if it can’t actually grip anything enough to pick it up or lift any meaningful weight it is just a slightly creepy but rather realistic fake hand. They do have some details on the website, that suggest it might be useful but it is rather sparse.

    Though even if it really isn’t very useful as an end effector looking that good is neat, the progress in somewhat functional and realistic looking in recent years is impressive.

  3. So… apparently Tesla needs something like this to move forward with automating assembly. Wouldn’t be surprised if these end up replacing cheap labor that “only humans can do”.

    1. It would have to come down to ‘economics’ analysis because you’d have to hire some higher priced technical people to ‘maintain’ and ‘program’ these expensive systems. So which will be ‘cheaper’ in the long run…..

  4. That much time, effort and money put into creating manipulator, and they decide to put in needle-drop music that they wouldn’t put in a no-budget reality tv series because it would be too hokey?!

  5. many years ago, i think back in the 80’s there was a demo of a robotic hand. did mimic human performance, but had added articulations as the finger could bend back much further than the human hand can. The most impressive feature was when the put a rubber glove over it and had it whip up several eggs!

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