The scientists started from scratch by laser-scanning a skeletal hand and then 3D-printing artificial bones to match. Those complex pieces were held together by a series of artificial ligaments made of high-strength Spectra strings. Laser-cut latex sheets replicated the soft tissue.
The new robotic hand is able to very closely mimic a wide variety of grasps when controlled by a remote manipulator. The user can grab coins, CDs, bills, keys, coffee mugs, dental floss, cell phones, credit cards, and more.
According to the researchers, their hand could also be used as 3D scaffolding for limb regeneration research.
Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She's the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.