A Polish robotics engineer has developed an incredible synthetic muscle arm and hand, attempting to mimic the complexity of the human body by making a dextrous but strong limb that is capable of lifting a dumbbell. Designed and built by Automaton Robotics, the limb is powered by electricity and uses hydraulics to lift impressive weights, all whilst looking like something straight out of Westworld.
The video is the latest in a series of updates following the arm’s development and still requires a few more artificial muscles to be completed. The arm currently has around half the muscles that a biological arm has but is still capable of an impressive range of movement. The engineer, Łukasz Koźlik, is the founder of Automaton Robotics, a robotics group based in Poland, currently consisting of one dedicated engineer, whose sole aim is to create the most advanced humanoid robot the world has ever seen.
Over the last seven years, Łukasz has developed a robot concept built of intricate synthetic muscle systems and software to give it fine motor control. He believes that muscle mimicry will create a robot that is fast, highly efficient, and affordable. Each muscle consists of a purpose-built McKibben muscle, or pneumatic artificial muscles, which use either air or hydraulic fluid to fill a bladder and can contract and relax at will. Automaton Robotics expanded on this, using boiled low-temperature fluid to create a fully electric version.
The approach seems to be working well, with impressive control over individual fingers and the ability for the arm to support a dumbbell weighing 7 kilograms (15.6 pounds). The robot is even warm-blooded, in a sense, with warm fluid running through synthetic veins. All it needs now is a Jarvis-like AI, and the product would be eerily close to an actual human.
Despite the impressive progress made, the talented engineer relies solely on internet patronage (his Patronite can be found here), but now hopes that he can gain enough support to hire an assistant to push forward the work. He envisions a future where robots with human-like limbs, such as his synthetic muscle arm and hand, will be able to assist in various industries and improve our daily lives. With the advancements in technology, it is only a matter of time before we see robots as advanced as this in the real world.