New robotic finger feels and works like real thing

Inspired by both nature and biology, scientists have designed a novel robotic finger that looks, feels and works like the real thing and could be adapted for use in a prosthetic hand.

Most robotic parts used to today are rigid, have a limited range of motion and don't really look lifelike.

Researchers developed and tested the new robotic finger using shape memory alloy (SMA), a 3D Computer-aided design (CAD) model of a human finger, a 3D printer, and a unique thermal training technique.
"We have been able to thermomechanically train our robotic finger to mimic the motions of a human finger like flexion and extension," said Erik Engeberg, assistant professor at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
"Because of its light weight, dexterity and strength, our robotic design offers tremendous advantages over traditional mechanisms, and could ultimately be adapted for use as a prosthetic device, such as on a prosthetic hand," said Engeberg. 

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