Using a 3D printer, scientists create a robotic finger capable of ‘touching’ as sensitive as a human finger

Tram Ho

To create this robotic hand, the scientists studied how to arrange a complex structure before using a 3D printer to create the exact shape of the object.

Out of the 5 fingers of the robot hand, there is one finger that has the ability to sense touch (the sensations obtained when touching, touching the skin) like a real human finger.

Basically, for humans, the nerves for touch transmit signals from nerve endings in the fingers to the brain for processing. These are called receptors, which can signal pressure, and the shape of a contact helps us visualize a variety of properties.

Dùng máy in 3D, các nhà khoa học tạo ra ngón tay robot có khả năng 'đụng chạm' nhạy như ngón tay con người - Ảnh 1.
Artificial fingertips can provide tactile sensations like real hands.
Dùng máy in 3D, các nhà khoa học tạo ra ngón tay robot có khả năng 'đụng chạm' nhạy như ngón tay con người - Ảnh 2.

However, it is extremely difficult to create an artificial product that can simulate the delicate feeling of a human hand. Therefore, when conducting the study, the scientists monitored the neurosensory indicators very carefully.

The team tested dozens of interactions between the robotic finger and different objects. As a result, the neural waves from the robotic finger showed an amazing match with the neural data of the human brain.

This artificial finger can also perceive even microscopic and complex ridges, which suggests that it is even a little more delicate than a human hand.

Happy with the results, but the team also pointed out the inherent disadvantage of robotic products lies in the lack of flexibility. Neural sensing was simulated accurately, but the robot finger’s senses still had a small delay. The project’s lead professor suspects the problem stems from the fact that the 3D printed material is slightly thicker than real human skin.

Still, it’s an exciting development in robotics. It could revolutionize robotics as well as medical prosthetics.

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Source : Genk