Intelligent software to help build perfect robotic hand
8 January 2008
Scientists in Portsmouth and Shanghai are developing intelligent software
that could help build the perfect robotic hand.
will record in detail how the human hand moves and use artificial
intelligence to learn and copy the movements. They hope to replicate the
fine movement of the human hand in a robotic device.
Dr Honghai Liu,
senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Industrial
Research, and Professor Xiangyang Zhu from the Robotics Institute at Jiao
Tong University in Shanghai, were awarded a Royal Society grant to further
“A robotic hand which can perform tasks with the dexterity of a human
hand is one of the holy grails of science,” said Dr Honghai Liu, who
lectures on artificial intelligence at the University’s Institute of
Industrial Research. The Institute specialises in artificial intelligence
including intelligent robotics, image processing and intelligent data
He said: “We are talking about having super high level control of a
robotic device. Nothing which exists today even comes close.”
Dr Liu used a cyberglove covered in tiny sensors to capture data about
how the human hand moves. It was filmed in a motion capture suite by eight
high-resolution CCD cameras with infrared illumination and measurement
accuracy up to a few millimetres.
Professor Xiangyang Zhu from The
Robotics Institute at the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, which is
recognised as one of the world-class research institutions on robotics, said
that the research partnership would strengthen the interface between
artificial intelligence techniques and robotics and pave the way for a new
chapter in robotics technology.
“Humans move efficiently and effectively in a continuous flowing motion,
something we have perfected over generations of evolution and which we all
learn to do as babies. Developments in science mean we will teach robots to
move in the same way.”