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With two robotic fingers, humans get a helping hand

Mechanical fingers grasp like the real thing

4:58pm, July 28, 2014

FAKE FINGERS  Two robotic digits mounted to the wrist make human hands more versatile: Wearing the contraption lets users perform some two-handed feats singlehandedly, such as holding a bottle while unscrewing the lid. 

Robo-fingers could help humans get a grip. A new type of wearable robot pairs two tonglike digits with a wrist brace to give a person the dexterity of a seven-fingered hand.

After slipping on the contraption, users can palm a basketball, single-handedly twist off a bottle cap or hold a tablet computer and type on it using the same hand, MIT mechanical engineers Faye Wu and Harry Asada reported July 15 at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference in Berkeley, Calif.

Wu and Asada’s robotic digits, thick tubes that jut from the wrist, use a computer program to coordinate movements with the wearer’s hand motions.

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