Engineers 3D print robotic hands that can beat the Mario game

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Jump, run, squash, smash.
These simple phrases create a sense of nostalgia in fans of the Super Mario game franchise.

The simple yet satisfying gameplay of World 1-1 makes it the most iconic opening in video-game history.
For nearly 30 years it was the best selling video game, and of course,

spawned the success of the Super Mario franchise, and has been the basis of numerous world record speed run attempts.

Three decades and six years after its initial release, A new player joins the fray.
Researchers from the University of Maryland 3D printed a soft robotic hand that is fast enough to play World 1-1 and win.

Level-up

Soft robotics has always aimed at creating flexible and inflatable robots that can be powered by the environment rather than electricity.
it could be tailor-made for prosthetic and biomedical devices because of its inherent safety and adaptability,
But managing the fluids that give them their mobility has been a challenge.
To tackle this issue, A team of researchers led by engineer Ryan D Sochol fixed this by 3D printing fully assembled soft robots with integrated fluidic circuits in a single step.
How?

Polyjet 3D printing, which prints layers of multi-material inks to create contrasting materials all over an object.
“Once, each finger of a soft robotic hand would have needed its control line, this limits mobility and usefulness,” said co-author Joshua Hubbard.
With 3D printing of the soft robotic hand with our integrated fluidic transistors, it will be able to play Nintendo based on just one pressure input.”

Guided by a program that can switch between off, low, mid and high pressures, the robotic arm can pass the first level within 90 seconds.

An open source for everyone

The video game is fun and beautiful to behold,

but this demonstration is far from playful.
The demonstration aimed at evaluating soft robot performance,
A single misstep would mean game over in world 1-1 . and it validates the researchers’ approach to soft robots.
The biomedical applications for this technique include prosthetics, surgical tools among others.


The team have made the technique open source and free to download, modify and 3D print at home or through printing services.

Source: Sciences Advanced, News18

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