3D-printed robotic hand ‘taught’ to play the piano

A robotic hand designed to mimic the human hand was able to play different styles of music on a piano. The project, according to researchers, aims to improve designs for prosthetics and other objects that require complex movements. For the holidays, scientists at Cambridge University have developed a robotic hand that can play “Jingle Bells” on the piano. In a video recently released on YouTube, the team showed off their creation, which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by moving not its fingers, but its wrist. The experiment, according to the team, demonstrates how challenging it is for a machine to replicate the complex movements that human hands are capable of. Details about the project were published in the journal Science Robotics. While there have been a couple of other attempts to create a robot that can play the piano, this experiment from the scientists at the University of Cambridge is quite different. It used 3D printing to integrate polymers that are hard and soft to mimic the bones and the ligaments of a real human hand.