This 3D-printed robotic hand can make lifelike movements

We’ve been covering the work of bionic prosthesis company YouBionic for some time now. As with any continuously iterating gadget or device, it has been fascinating to watch the concept evolve from a rough-hewn early prototype to what increasingly looks like a solid, well-engineered finished product. Well, maybe not quite “finished” yet — but it’s certainly getting there.

For those who haven’t been keeping track, YouBionic’s goal is to create a working 3D-printed robotic hand. This could be used for a variety of purposes, such as helping people with missing and partially functioning limbs, as well as acting as the final actuator for robotic arms. The fact that it is largely 3D printed also means it would be widely accessible to a large number of people.

“What can be seen in the video is the device created from the components which have returned the best results,” Italian engineer Federico Ciccarese, the creator of YouBionic, told Digital Trends. “These are the components which have finally made me proud, that I think will form the basis of what we do in the future.”

The YouBionic robot hand is capable of performing realistic motions on a level of fine-grain detail that’s similar to that of a human. Compared with the previous builds of the robot, this latest version boasts superior design and construction of the arm; thereby giving it more natural multi-rotational wrist movement, hand twisting, and elbow flexion. It’s also capable of increased strength, allowing it to interact with the outside world more like a biological hand.

It can either be controlled by a remote or pre-programmed movement or, as shown in the video, could be rigged up to mirror the movements of a person’s actual hand and arm. Ciccarese said that he is currently exploring ways that it could even be made to function based on the electrical activities recorded via a person’s brain.

“Our aim is to create devices that help or replace parts of our body,” Ciccarese continued. “We want to evolve humanity by using mechatronics. Imagine a completely robotic being that can be consciously controlled by a biological brain. That is what we are creating.”

Given how much of a game-changer, a high-quality, low-cost 3D printed hand prosthetic could be, we can’t wait to see what’s next for the project.

Cars

You don’t need to go autonomous to make trucking safer

Long haul truckers are very good at their jobs, but they face long hours and unpredictable conditions. Autonomous tech may be coming, but here’s how lidar technology companies are working to enhance trucking safety today.
Smart Home

We’re lovin’ these toaster ovens that do way more than brown bread

Are you looking for a toaster oven that can make jerky or steam vegetables? Do you need a dedicated countertop appliance for making pizza? Fortunately, these toaster ovens provide a wide array of functionality.
Mobile

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.
Gaming

The best PS1 games of all time

Take a stroll down memory lane with the 50 best games ever released for the original PlayStation.
Product Review

From water cooling to a supercapacitor, the Galaxy Note 9 overflows with tech

The Galaxy Note 9 is here, and it’s jaw-dropping how much tech Samsung has outfitted inside this phone -- granted, it’s one of Samsung’s largest phones ever thanks to its 6.4-inch screen. Here’s our Note 9 hands-on impressions.
Emerging Tech

Be a master of your own ever-changing ‘galaxy’ with this kinetic wall art

Art Machine is a stunning work of kinetic art that looks like a continuously swirling galaxy or turbulent weather formation viewed through a ship's porthole. Check it out in all its glory.
Emerging Tech

Omega Centauri hosts 10 million stars and probably not an ounce of life

Omega Centauri is about 16,000 light years away, making it visible to the naked eye. And it contains some 10 million stars, making it the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way. But it probably doesn't have an ounce of life.
Emerging Tech

The world’s first practical quantum computer has cash and a timeline

The dream of building a practical quantum computer could be closer than ever, thanks to a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation to seven universities around the United States.
Emerging Tech

Forget flying cars: This shoe-tying robot is proof that the future is here

Engineering students from the University of California, Davis, recently built a robot whose sole personality in life is to tie shoelaces. It cost them under $600 to do it as well!
Emerging Tech

Bizarre stork robot uses a drone to compensate for its weak, twig-like legs

Developed by engineers from Japan’s University of Tokyo, Aerial Biped is a robot whose top half is comprised of a flying quadrotor UAV that's rooted to the ground by thin stork-like legs.
Emerging Tech

A treasure trove of 3D scientific specimens is now free to see online

Thanks to the California Academy of Sciences, you can access more than 700 scientific specimens and artifacts from the world-class collection via the online 3D and virtual reality platform Sketchfab.
Emerging Tech

Lyd is a battery-powered, ‘no-spill’ bottle that is activated by your lips

Lyd is a battery-powered bottle that’s something like a sippy cup for adults. Its no-spill solution is a specialized lid that uses an algorithm to detect when your lips are on the bottle.
Emerging Tech

Cotton and corn! Reebok’s newest sneaker is ‘made from things that grow’

Keen to move away from using oil-based materials to make its footwear, Reebok has turned to cotton and corn for its latest sneaker. No dyes have been used to color the shoes, either, and the packaging is 100 percent recyclable.
Computing

Apple AR glasses will launch in 2020, says respected industry analyst

Apple AR glasses may be closer to reality than we thought. Here is everything we know so far about the augmented reality system, including the rumored specifications of Apple's Project Mirrorshades.