Man Singlehandedly Builds Eerily Realistic Robot Arm Powered by Synthetic Muscles

A Polish robotics engineer recently posted a series of intriguing videos of what looks like a dextrous android arm powered by synthetic muscles.

Łukasz Koźlik, who goes under the moniker Automaton Robotics online, is a talented robotics engineer from Poland who has spent the last few years creating an incredible synthetic muscle arm that moves eerily like a human one. A firm believer in the idea that muscle mimicry is the key to fast, efficient, and affordable robots, Łukasz has been building on the concept of McKibben muscle, or pneumatic artificial muscles, creating a synthetic muscular system that allows robots to move their fingers and palms in a similar way to humans.

“At this moment our robotic arm is operated only by a half of artificial muscles when compared to a human body,” Automaton Robotics captioned one of their recent videos. “Strongest finger-bending muscle still missing. Fingers are going to move from left to right but they don’t have muscles yet. Metacarpal and left-to-right wrist movements are also blocked. This version has a position sensor in each joint but they are yet to be software-implemented. We are going to add everything mentioned above in the next prototype.”

IFL Science writes that over the last seven year’s Łukasz Koźlik’s sole aim has been “to create the most advanced humanoid robot the world has ever seen,” and judging by his latest videos, he is well on his way to doing just that. His pneumatic muscle fibers use either air or hydraulic fluid to fill a bladder and can contract and relax at will, just like actual muscles, only his particular version is fully electric and uses boiled low-temperature fluid. So it’s technically warm-blooded…


In the videos recently posted online by Automaton Robotics, the arm is capable of moving each finger individually, in a manner eerily similar to humans, and appears to also grasp and lift a 7-kilogram (15.6 pounds) dumbell.


Believe it or not, Łukasz Koźlik doesn’t have an entire corporation funding his research and development. Instead, he relies solely on internet patrons who donate through Patronite. Hopefully, this exposure gets him the funding he deserves, so he can finally complete that humanoid robot he designed based on his arm prototype.

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