The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations

#15 - 3D Printing in Surgery

As Real and Efficient as a Human Hand

Courtesy of Movement Control Laboratory/University of Washington

Two researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle have built what the specialized press considers to be the most amazing biomimetic, anthropomorphic robotic hand.

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.

Tendons also were replicated using Spectra springs, while muscles were replaced by 10 Dynamixel servo motors.

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.

 


About the Author

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.

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