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DARPA's low-cost robotic hand gets put through its paces (video)

Brian Heater

This three-fingered manipulator has just about everything you could ever want in a robotic hand. It's relatively low-cost, it's powerful, it's capable of picking up objects both large and small, and it's robust. In fact, we've already seen the thing used as a tee for an aluminum bat. The hand, which was developed by researchers at iRobot, Harvard and Yale, was created as part of DARPA's ARM Hardware (ARM-H), a program track focused on the creation of inexpensive, dexterous hands. According to its creators, the key here is "function rather than trying to mimic a human hand," which helped bring down the cost of building the three-fingered grasper. Check out a video of the Ninja Turtle-esque gripper getting put through its paces -- and strengthening its core with a 50-pound kettle bell -- after the break.

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