Motion System Design

Robotic helping hand

The Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., has developed a robotic hand that can hold objects as heavy as a can of food or as delicate as an egg, but is dexterous enough to do sign language. Named RAPHaEL (Robotic Air Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments), the hand is powered by a compressor air tank at 60 psi and an accordion type tube actuator. An air-powered design makes the hand unique, as it requires no motors or other actuators.

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