Human-like robotic arm, with familiar muscles and bones: video

Airic's arm is a robotic arm with artificial bones and muscles that look rather like the fleshy ones we have, from design company Festo:

The bone structure, consisting of the human bones such as ulna and radius, metacarpal bone and finger bone, shoulder joint and shoulder blade – joints that do not occur as such in the technical world – is moved via 30 muscles. The muscles are Festo products, which are already put to extensive use in industrial practice and known as Fluidic Muscle. Using this technology, in conjunction with Festo’s tiny, highly innovative piezo-proportional valves, it is possible to precisely regulate the forces and rigidity within the construction.
Link to product page, and this clip of the arm in action is breathtaking: Video Link. (via Core 77 blog, thanks Susannah)



  1. Having used Festool products for three years as a restoration carpenter, I can say that this arm does not surprise me at all. They make really nice, very German tools that you just don’t want to get dirty.

    I imagine the ideal Festool tool would be one of these guys in a box, who got out, unpacked all the other tools, and did all the work for you, cleaned up with built-in vacuum attachment, and repacked itself. Or one of these ladies, who would be welcome on any jobsite I know.

  2. This is pretty and presented in a very slick video package but it’s not really much of an advancement in robotics.

    The recently unveiled Kawada HRP-2 robot is actually capable of learning/mimicking human actions/movements, such as the Aizu- Bandaisan-Odori [a Japanese folk dance]. Plus it can do practical things, such as light industrial work.

    I also doubt that it’s anywhere near as fragile as the series of pneumatic tubes on these posted arm units.

  3. I can’t help but notice there are two right arms in the video and no left arms… proof of the right wing conspiracy that I’ve talked about for years with all my sinister friends.

  4. Indeed, robo-porn at its almost best. Makes one wonder what else they can make with their pressure valves and inflating tubes . . .

  5. Looks an awful lot like Sonny from that relatively recent (horrific-travesty-of-what-I-truly-hesitate-to-call-a) film, I, Robot.

  6. Hopefully Asimov’s or somebody’s Robots Rules of Order will be in effect soon – that thing looks like it could twist your neck off.

  7. Well, HOT DAMN! Looks like I’ll have my own USRobotics NS-5 sooner than anticipated!

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