Researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland have achieved a significant breakthrough in the field of robotics by creating a robotic hand with bones and tendons using 3D printing technology. This groundbreaking achievement paves the way for the development of more complex and durable robots in the future.
The team from ETH Zurich utilized a combination of 3D printing, laser scanning, and a feedback mechanism to construct the intricate components of the robotic hand. Unlike previous methods that required assembling separate parts, this new approach allows for the simultaneous printing of all the hand’s components.
3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing industry, but until now, its applications in robotics have been limited by the use of fast-curing polyacrylates. However, this new method overcomes that constraint and opens up new possibilities in the construction of soft robots, which offer distinct advantages over traditional metal robots.
Soft robots made from materials like the one used in this robotic hand reduce the risk of injury when working alongside humans and are more suitable for handling delicate objects. Conventional robots constructed from metal pose significant dangers to human workers, as recent incidents have tragically highlighted.
The research team’s achievement was detailed in a paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature. The paper emphasizes the long-standing goal of humanity to recreate complex structures and functions of natural organisms in synthetic forms. This automated and high-throughput process of manufacturing functional multi-material systems represents a significant step towards realizing that goal.
Q: What is the breakthrough in robotics mentioned in the article?
A: Researchers have successfully created a robotic hand with bones, ligaments, and tendons using 3D printing for the first time.
Q: How did the researchers accomplish this feat?
A: The researchers from ETH Zurich combined 3D printing with a laser scanner and feedback mechanism to construct the robotic hand.
Q: What advantage do soft robots have over conventional robots made of metal?
A: Soft robots, such as the one developed in this study, are less likely to cause injury when working with humans and are better suited for handling fragile objects.
Q: What risks do conventional robots pose to human workers?
A: Despite significant advancements, conventional robots made of metal still pose a considerable risk to humans working alongside them.