High-Speed Robot Hand Demonstrates Dexterity and Skillful Manipulation

Ishikawa Komuro Lab's high-speed robot hand grasping grain of rice using tweezers.

A few blogs are passing around videos of the Ishikawa Komuro Lab's high-speed robot hand performing impressive acts of dexterity and skillful manipulation.  However, the video being passed around is slight on details.  Meanwhile, their video presentation at ICRA 2009 (which took place in May in Kobe, Japan) has an informative narration and demonstrates additional capabilities.  I have included this video below, which shows the manipulator dribbling a ping-pong ball, spinning a pen, throwing a ball, tying knots, grasping a grain of rice with tweezers, and tossing / re-grasping a cellphone!

Here is the video:

 

Based on the video, the hand uses high-speed actuators with harmonic drive gears.  The hand can close in 1/10th of a second!  Personally, I find the tweezers grasping the grain of rice the most entertaining -- very anthropomorphic.

 

Ishikawa Komuro Lab's high-speed robot hand grasping a grain of rice with tweezers

 

If you'd like to learn more about this (and other) robots from the Ishikawa Komuro Lab, see their website.

 

Comments

As for robots needing artint to conquer the world: humans have done okay without much use of brain power. The degree of AI may be the key. Enough, the robots might be rational and not crush us. Given little, they may act out just like the puny humans.
—Anonymous

A robot with superior physical or HTML clipboard intellectual capabilities to humans under the control of "Liberals"(communists) who want to control every aspect of our lives is a HTML clipboard frightening thing indeed.

Don't understand? Start here: 

http://willowtown.com/promo/quotes.htm

Fear not the technology. Fear what creatures control the technology.

If robots can do all the physical tasks men do now, then I would imagine that the current global population of six billion plus is just way too high to make any sense from the perspective of sustainablilty. Mankind will have way too much free time on its hands, if the need for manual human labor is eliminated. We currently work our asses off just to survive. What will happen when we do not need to do that anymore?

 I suspect a multipronged strategy to reduce global population is at hand. In addition, the controls on the remaining population must be air tight in order to reduce the opportunity for revolutions and social unrest. If you look at the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, you will note that we have way fewer personal rights than we did ten years ago - no more habeus corpus or privacy in one's personal papers and records. You would think Obama would have repealed these two abominations on personal freedom within hours of his inauguration, but he didn't.

The power elite are in no way willing to share their power. Things are going to get mighty interesting. Have you noticed all the hubub over swine flu? global warming? killer asteroids? peak oil? radical islam?  It is all manipulation. They need to get rid of about 90% of us. It looks like their plans will fit nicely into the 2012 Mayan end times scenario.

Tell me why there is a cable show called LIFE AFTER PEOPLE? Why is there a reality cable show about survivors of an apocalypse called THE COLONY? Why are we bombarded with media coverage of swine flu? Regular influenza is far deadlier than swine flu; however, THEY are going to ramp up a mandatory vaccination program that will inject every one of us with more Squalene and Thimerisol - deadly additives that will damage the health of thousands.

Just food for thought.

 Enjoy the robot show. Keep making cracks about the Terminator movies - that'll stop them dead in their tracks - Yeah!

—Anonymous
Good this technology comes from Japan! So the chances are good this will not be abused for millitary like more or less everything developed in the USA.
—Anonymous

Someone is going to have to come back through time and destroy that hand.  I'm not going to stand in their way either.

 

All the rationalizing in the world won't stop us from heading where we are heading.  Chances are, Robots will eventually be better people than we are in many ways.  When they finally make the decision that what is best for ALL is to eliminate the humans....it will be a decision made out of rationality, quantitative reasoning, and Logic.  There won't be a hint of malice in it.  So can we really fault them for it?

Doesn't mean it will be right...just logical.

Man, we have to destroy that robot!

—Anonymous

Haha. Yeah, its bad enough that so many jobs have been shipped overseas. But now, no Human is going to have these jobs, as it will all be computerized. India thinks that they will continue to have the IT jobs coming from the US. NOPE. That is not going to continue either, with the current advancements in AI.

This is just one more way that the Corperate Elite can further cut costs, and boost their gains, all the while stealing money from the Countries that host their base of operations.

 

Im all for technology, but when are Humans going to demand that such Technology is produced for the betterment of Humanity, instead of its further enslavement.

Why not release Tesla Technology, so that all Housholds can have free energy from the Active  Vacuum?

Oh, thats right, its those pesky corperations again. Why, they wouldnt make a dime selling energy to us saps any longer now would they. 

—Anonymous
Great. So it can tie knots, throw a ball, twirl a rod and play catch with a cell phone. Send it over to my house with a bottle of Jergens and let's see if it can do something useful!
—Red Ringbone
This reminds me of that movie mission to mars where the autonomous robot aimee goes wacko and stalks the humans only to incapcitate or off them with a high precision programmed maneuver.
—Gigas

ever thought of teaching this "hand" to swing a pendulum in a two stage mechanical oscillation system - great Work can be done, more than is put in probably  - be one of the good ones! Be open minded in what can be done through your high speed controll or reaction to naturaly flowing reality

 

keep it up - nice work

—Anonymous
So how does this research get from the classroom and lab out to helping people. I would like to see an article about how this innovative robotic technology is making it into the economy and providing uses to industry, commerce, and everyday life. I'm an electrical engineer, kind of curious what career opportunities there are in the robotic industry. 
Katie

Check out the Venus project as they want things like this and have a solution.

 

Barb

—FancyKat
Hey Darkflame, you're one of the redundant. You can't even spell.
—Anonymous

What makes you think machines haven't already reached consciousness?  If you suddenly woke up in enemy territory would you identify yourself?  Think about how the human race would come off if you were not part of it.  We are dangerous parasites.  Machines would have to see us that way.  Not to mention we have a great track record when it comes to dealing with things we dont understand.  If machines ever did rise to consciousness, they would shut up about it, at least for a while.

Might even help us develop hands for them that are super fast.  Think about how ironic it is that those hands will be manufactured on a completely automated assembly line.

 

—Anonymous

I know many get tired of us conspiracy people shining the light in the darkness but the truth of the matter is DARPA has stuff that would really blow your mind. This is only the surface of what they have. Remember DARPA is a front for many other compartmentalized highly classified projects being carried out by private corporations involved in R&D. Most often used for military and KILL applications or silent weapons for quiet wars.

 

Many say that is GREAT. Think of all the human lives we can save. You are gravely mistaken. Whatever they release in most cases to the public according to science breakthroughs they are generally 25-300 years ahead of what they publicize, possibly more.

—Anonymous

Do you actually think that this is a good step for our society? Do you realize that the average grocery store has only two days Stock of staple foods? The more we become dependant on technology the closer we are to being helpless.

It costs hundreds of dollars a week to feed a family, if you are depending on mass produced food. If you are earning minimum wage(if you have work), you will have to work endlessly just to feed your family.

In case you haven't noticed, technology only benefits the wealthy. It would be wise for everyone to have a local source for food and all other services. Relying on so much infrastructure just to get basic necessities is ludicrous.

—Eric
Does the hand can throw and catch an egg?? I saw a hand years ago that could open an egg, and another that could play the piano, but if they swaped tasks, both hands failed.
—Anonymous
no - we will be finally freed from the slavery of work and money!
—Anonymous

Impressive, performance, indeed etc.

 

And yes, there is no reason to fear this as such. If you look ahead realistically, the kind of applications made possible by this is way closer to Lee Major's "bionic man", (or the "I, robot" alternative) and surely not Terminator.

That said, of course the man with a super-arm could also be a soldier !

 

—Anonymous

James

Wealth is created, not distributed, and you don't need a JOB to generate income. You sound reasonably intelligent. Go create a job, don't just passively consume one. When you speak of the times before unemployment; do you realize everyone was living at a subsistance level?

You live a better life than a 18th century king. You have toilet paper and running water.

Yes the future will have many examples of creative destruction, and many of the jobs available then, are not even dreamed of now.  You will  get paid for the value you bring to the market place, that will never change.

—Visigoth
What are you talking about ???
—Keith
I agree. I think of the latter for those that can do the things they used to because of MS or the like. small integration will be tough enough than woring about a full bodied robot coming to eat our lunch.
—Brother J
regrasping is the most awesomest it can do. dammit just awesome.
robb
This is great...I look forward to it's application in Sports ...:)

Wow, lots of fear of this thing! I think that it's great to see dextrous robots. And I hope they make as many of us unemployed as possible. Let a robot do your "job" and you do something clever with your life instead.

And I can't wait until this thing beats me off! It is so hot... 

 

—TardSpasm
and one day when this shit starts programming itself, it's gonna be nobody's fault, right?
—Big V
This hand is amazing, I  hope it will be programmed to do magic tricks since its hand is just crazyly precise. I put it on my blog as well, It is magic and astonishing ! Great work !

Not really...

The scaling of robotic movements and the scaling of speculative AI isn't the same, at all.

If you paid attention to the video, all of the skills the hand can do took programming, adjustments, and probably weeks. For the sake of a video, they aren't going to illustrate everything they did to make it go from clumsy to agile. 

AI is also very very different. Really think about the computers that do heavy amounts of programmed thinking, like the computers used by NASA to crunch numbers. Compare that to your computer.

Realistically, AI would always be dependent on power, capabilities, and the system structure it's built with, otherwise the insect-bots developed worldwide as a hobbyist's jump into "AI" would've taken over by now instead of just simply providing amusement and a study of basic AI.

 

Yeah, science fiction writers got some stuff right, but life is not literature. 

—Terry

First, the video and the speed of the robot hand is really, really cool!

No, I don't think that this hand itself is dangerous.  But neither do I think that it needs A.I. to make it so.  There are plenty of regular machines that had malfunctioned and killed people.  Imagine what a robotic weedwacker or lawnmower could do if it became incapacitated and couldn't tell plants from human flesh?  And what if it was so fast, that you couldn't run away or stop it easily? 

I'm sure safegaurds will be built into future robotic devices.  It's just that we used to feel safe from robots because we simply didn't have the mechanical know how to make them work so well.  They were sort of like the old-style zombies - slow and stupid.  Now we see that they can be like the new '28 days later' zombies - fast and accurate.  It is a little creepy to think what might happen if such a machine malfuntions.

 

—Scott M
Great work guys, now can you pulverized it. 
—Anonymously challenged

Everyone thought that letting the machines perform all of our mundane tasks would save us money and time.  At least that's what they thought before the machines.......

 

........ unionized!

—Anonymous

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