"To follow nature as my teacher" – that is Patrick van der Smagt's motto, taken from Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress. The Dutch van der Smagt is head of the bionics group of the Institute of Robotics and Dynamics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). His current focus is the DLR Human Arm Project, which is working on a hand-arm system that resembles the human counterpart as closely as possible, in terms of dynamics and kinematics.
But why follow a new path in robotics? Mechanical arms and hands, including the highly-integrated DLR Four-Finger Hand, already have a wide range of applications, such hands are far from reaching the dexterity and applicability of human arms and hands: they are not as flexible, agile, light-weight and robust, that they can be seen as a reasonable alternative. This is true for actuation, sensing, and control.
To match the dexterity of the human upper extremities, van der Smagt analyzes various aspects of the human biological components (using magnetic resonance tomography, sonography, electrode implantation, biophysics, and other tools) in order to copy their behaviour. The resulting robotic system will be very human-like in its movement, and will therefore both serve as a perfect robotic companion, doing boring household chores, or as a source of highly advanced prosthetism of the human skeletomuscular system. Where will robotics go?
SIMON SCHUBERT (GER) (Artist) Visual Sensations
MIKAEL KROGERUS (FI) & ROMAN TSCHÄPPELER (CH) (Journalist & Founder and CEO Guzo) Kaospilots
*subject to change
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Het laatste interview met Peter van Lindonk op 14 januari 2013
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TEDxAmsterdam-talk: Peter van Lindonk
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