This Week’s Picks: Of Bionic Hands and Aspiring Gloves

This week we stumbled upon another technological breakthrough in robotics, a mechanical five-fingered hand that grasps objects. Then in our search for more wonders in the land of digits and palms (not the PDA), we encountered a robotic hand wannabe.


robotic-handBe it a hefty tin can filled with processed meat, or a delicate and breakable egg — RAPHaEL can take it on. The College of Engineering of Virginia Tech created a Robotic Air Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments, or RAPHaEL. This bionic wonder is a fully detailed hand that is operated by a compressor air tank. This is the unique aspect of this design, as it doesn’t use motors or other devices. The pressure of RAPHaEL’s grasp depends on the compressor’s air pressure. The individual fingers are guided by microcontroller commands. This makes the design impressively precise.

See RAPHaEL in action:

Xtensor Gamer Hand Exercise

xtensor_hand_exerciserWell it’s not as brilliant as what the engineers of Virginia Tech came up with, but it’s definitely something new. The Xtensor Gamer Hand Exerciser claims that after a couple of minutes with this, um, glove — then your gaming prowess will be better. If athletes do warm up exercises before they train, then why not gamers too? This glove is like the gym for PC gamers.  Basically, this glove will stretch and train the ligaments and muscles that you use in constant mouse-clicking. It claims to prevent gaming cramps.

It’s worth a try. The Xtensor Gamer Hand Exercise is available here. For what it’s worth, the glove looks pretty hardcore.

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