Festo Bionic Handling Assistant Shows Humans and Machines Can Work Together [Video]

Apr 23, 2010
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Until they become sentient and ultimately lead to the destruction of human kind. Oh, wait, that's a movie. Anyway, we'd love to introduce you to the Bionic Handling Assitant, and the crazy mechanical arms that they are. And yes, those are pincers at the end of those long metallic trunks. The company behind the pair of arms believes these will improve some integral pieces of the machine/human equation, but we think they may terrify some folks.

These bionic arms are designed from the inspiration of elephant trunks, and as you watch the video you'll understand where they may get that idea. The flexibility and movement of the arms definitely do elephant trunks justice. But it's those pincers that make us raise an eyebrow. Designed by Festo in Esslingen, Germany, the BHA was developed to study and improve the interaction between humans and machines. We weren't aware that needed to be studied or improved, but apparently it does.

According to a quote from the company's product page, the BHA is a stark improvement over the traditional heavy industrial robots, and proves that direct contact with the machines is now no longer hazardous. The FinGripper (those pincers) is adaptive as well, changing its grip accordingly to the objects it is holding in its grip. There's no word on when the BHA could ever be tested in an actual scenario, let alone implemented in an actual human environment (we could see the medical field capitalizing on creations such as this), but we know it's coming. It's just the future, ladies and gentlemen, there's no need to panic.

[via MedGadget]


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