Using a shape memory alloy, a 3D CAD model of a human finger, and a 3D printer, scientists were able to create what they dubbed the “perfect” robotic finger. This finger can perfectly mimic the range of movement and extensions of the human finger. It is also lightweight, strong, flexible, and exhibits dexterity, making it a strong candidate for applications in prosthetics.
The main manufacturing challenge at present is the extended cooling period required for the finger to return to a normal condition. To combat this, the team is initially exploring using the technology for underwater robotics to provide a natural cooling environment.
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