University of Maryland engineers create new 3-D soft robotic hand

Engineers at the University of Maryland are showing off a new kind of robot. 

Ryan Sochol, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Mechanical Engineering, has worked at his soft robotics invention for six years.

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"Soft robotics is a pretty new field," Sochol said. "It's only been around for about a decade or so."

Sochol and a team of UMD researchers worked to bring a 3-D soft robotic hand to fruition.  Their invention has the potential of making biomedical devices much safer in the future.  

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"The hope is by making our technology more accessible, that essentially anyone who has access to one of these types of these kinds of printers, either themselves or through a printing service like we did, will be able to download our files for free and be able to immediately print any one of those designs or they can modify those designs," Sochol said. "And the hope is that by increasing access, that we are able to eventually accelerate advancement in this new area of soft robotics."

Sochol says working on the 3-D soft robotic hand has been one of the greatest accomplishments of his group and his professional life.