Gone are the days when we could look at cutting-edge robots and at least take some satisfaction in the fact that the human body was still superior. It seems like DARPA is getting closer and closer to outdoing Mother Nature, this time with its ARM-H robot hand that's as impressively dextrous as it is cheap and durable.
With an estimated cost of around $3000, the hand is relatively cheap compared to other alternatives being developed, but it doesn't look like the researchers from iRobot, Harvard and Yale have cut any corners. Remarkably, the hand can even pick up a key off a flat surface — a feat many humans struggle with — and its flexible fingers easily shrug off a blow from a baseball bat.
So if there's one thing the rest of humanity can learn from this research, it's that our Louisville Sluggers will probably be useless against the eventual robot uprising. Good to know. [DARPA]