3D Printed Soft Robo-Hand Can Play Nintendo Super Mario Bros. And Win

3D Printed Soft Robo-Hand Can Play Nintendo Super Mario Bros. And Win


What if Americans become too obese and lazy that they had robots play video games for them one day? 

University of Maryland researchers have 3D printed a soft robotic hand capable of playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The soft robotic hand is flexible and powered by air rather than electricity. 

The breakthrough in soft robotics is led by University of Maryland assistant professor of mechanical engineering Ryan D. Sochol and his team, who 3D print a fully functional soft robotic hand with "integrated fluidic circuits" that allowed it to be programmed and play NES. 

"Previously, each finger of a soft robotic hand would typically need its own control line, which can limit portability and usefulness," said co-first 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."

During a session of Super Mario Bros., various types of air pressure control each of the robot's fingers. For example, the first finger is controlled by low pressure, and the second finger is controlled by medium pressure, and so forth. In total, three fingers can control the NES remote and are programmed to beat the first level of the game in under 90 seconds. 

Sochol and his team aren't satisfied with using soft robotics technology for just video games. They're exploring ways to use this technology in the biomedical field. 

Watch the robot play the first level of the game and win. 




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