19 December 2018
Vol 3, Issue 25

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Piano Forte. Human hands are complex and agile, but most robotic end effectors are simple and bulky. Hughes et al. used 3D-printing technology to create robotic devices that mimic human hands, with stiff skeletal frames surrounded by flexible "ligaments" controlling movement at joints. They varied ligament stiffness and the force applied to strike a piano key; the resulting data led to models predicting the range of motion for a specific set of conditions. The validity of the approach and the design was demonstrated with a system able to play excerpts of three different pieces of music, representing a range of styles, in a manner close to that of a human. [CREDIT: J. HUGHES & N. CHORNAY/UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE]