Scientists create a robotic hand to play Super Mario Bros on NES

The science world has been a hot topic this past year-and-a-half. As a deadly virus continues to wreak havoc on the world, the titanic efforts of medical scientists have not gone unnoticed. However, in a bid to distract ourselves from the horrid realities of a pandemic that isn't ending, look at this sweet Robotic hand playing Super Mario Bros!

University of Maryland's robotic hand

Created by a team of scientists at the University of Maryland, this robotic hand can game. The hand is designed as a soft robot, a machine powered by fluid and air pressure and flexible materials instead of electronics and hard metals.

Polyjet 3D-printing was used to construct the hand. The Polyjet printer allows a model to be printed with different colours and materials in one go. This new printing process save a lot of time compared to typical FDM printing. Furthermore, the process also aids in the construction of objects.

“Previously, each finger of a soft robotic hand would typically need its own control line, which can limit portability and usefulness," said co-author Joshua Hubbard. "But by 3D printing the soft robotic hand with our integrated 'fluidic transistors,' it can play Nintendo based on just one pressure input."
Transcribed by CNET

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It plays Mario

The benchmark for the usefulness of the robotic hand was to play a game of Super Mario Bros. As good play requires the use of at least three fingers, the hand was put to the test. Designed with three fingers, the robot has three levels of air pressure that controls what it can do.

Low pressure makes the device place down its first finger, making Mario run. Medium pressure to the second finger makes the little plumber do a little run. Finally, high pressure makes the shrooms addict jump in the air.

The Mario benchmark is used to test timing on the robotic hand. As it turns out, the project has been deemed as a success by the team. Game on, scientist people!

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