DARPA's new robotic hand can lift kettlebells as well as tweezers

It can also palm a basketball, pinch a BB-pellet, manipulate a cordless power drill and withstand being cudgeled with a freaking baseball bat... which... well... most hands can only do two of those things.

The hand is part of DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (Arm-H) program, and a collaboration between robotics company iRobot and Harvard and Yale Universities. Its three fingers are capable of a seriously impressive range of tasks. Just imagine a set of these attached to the arms of DARPA's PETMAN. And then think of the nightmares. The awesome, awesome nightmares.


Check the video up top to see the hand in action – and enjoy the porn-tastic sound track, which really gives it this whole... je ne sais quoi.


The ARM-H track of DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program focuses on development of robust, low-cost and dexterous robotic hand hardware. DARPA funded performers to design and build hand mechanisms that could replace the claw-like hands currently used on robots with hands incorporating 3-4 fingers and useable palms. The teams successfully produced hands that can be manufactured for as little as $3,000 per unit (in batches of 1,000 or more), down from the $50,000 cost of current technology. The new hands also incorporate sufficient dexterity to enable manipulation of objects in their fingers when controlled by a skilled operator. This technology helps pave the way for adaptable, low-cost robots that can use a wide range of human tools to assist in dangerous defense missions.


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