Engineering students developed a robot hand that plays the first level in Super Mario Brothers. The next level will be helping in medical surgeries.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Who in the 1990s didn’t spend an entire summer afternoon trying to defeat a large spiky turtle as an Italian plumber?
Remember Super Mario Brothers?
Playing a video game normally isn’t seen as productive. But, when it’s a robot created by the University of Maryland’s engineering program, it might open doors for the future.
“How did we evaluate how good our hands were as kids? It was playing Nintendo and seeing who was the best in the block at being able to beat Mario quickly,” Engineering professor Dr. Ryan Sochol explained.
Professor Sochol’s Hands once used to beat Mario levels, these days those hands design robot technologies. But, they aren’t those clunky metal machines, but soft robotics of the future.
“Soft robots instead are made of flexible and soft materials,” he said. “They are controlled instead using fluids like water and air.”