A brand new robot hand can play the piano without even moving its own fingers! Although the holidays are behind us, a robot hand has proven there is never a bad time to combine Halloween and Christmas jingles in order to get some pretty great music. In this case, a robot hand, shaped similarly to that of a human skeleton hand, can play ‘Jingle Bells’ an array of other tunes, without even having to bend a finger!
This robotic hand is the latest innovative creation from a robotics lab at the University of Cambridge, and although this may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, it is a lot more significant than it might at first appear. According to Discover Magazine, the new robot hands, which was described and unveiled today in Science Robotics, is able to reproduce the most important human structures that fall just below the wrist, comprising of both bones and ligaments.
The hand itself has effective joints with adjustable stiffness, allowing it to play various types of musical styles and notes through “passive” dynamics. Although the finger themselves don’t move, making this creation all that much more impressive, they “react differently based on the conditions they encounter”, claims the source. As described by the creators, the robot hand itself is only able to move at the wrist and arm level, whose motor skills are provided by an ordinary robot arm attachment, which keeps the hand in place, allowing it to make its controlled movements.
The skeletal robotic hand, in this case, was 3-D printed and reacts to the piano keys differently, all depending on the joints stiffness and just how they are placed onto the keys themselves. With that being said, the robotic hand can then play an array of musical styles! Although the robotic hand is not yet capable of performing an entire symphony, it’s important to understand just how innovative a creation this truly is. With more development and time, this piece of technology is expected to perform just as well as any good musician could!
In this case, the lab at the University of Cambridge that with more rigorous practice, and time spent on further developing the hand, it can easily become the next robotic Beethoven!