Dribbling, Catching, Chopstick-Loving Robots

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 11:07am

The Ishikawa Komuro Lab in Japan is developing some robotic “hand” technology that far outpaces its human counterparts. Using high-speed actuators with harmonic drive gears, the hand can open and close in 1/10 of a second. In addition, tactile sensors inside the fingers allow the robotic hand to grasp and handle almost any object with a grace normally reserved for humans. To make everything come together, a high-speed camera taking in the action at 1000fps enables tracking of precise movements.

The video shows the robotic hand doing everything from dribbling, spinning a pen between its “fingers,” and playing “cell phone catch” with itself. Personally, I’m entranced by how easily it picks up single grains of rice. Forget the chopsticks — I’ll bring one of these along the next time I’m out for sushi.

If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at


Share This Story

You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.