Developed by a team of mechanical engineers at the University of Maryland, this 3D printed hand is dexterous enough to use a Nintendo controller, and even manages to beat Super Mario Bros. World 1-1 in the video. That’s cool, but World 1-1 has never given me any trouble. What I really need is for it to beat World 8-3 for me so I can finally stop throwing my controller and yelling at the TV.
The robotic hand uses a surprisingly simple means of operating its fingers. It has a fluidic transistor for each digit that’s only actuated when a certain pressure is achieved; just a single pressure line is necessary. Low pressure activates just the d-pad finger so Mario walks, while medium pressure allows him to jump. Simple enough.
Using a series of low, medium, high (and off) pressure levels, the robotic hand is able to beat the first level of Super Mario Bros. in under 90 seconds. For reference, the speed run record for a human is 11.75 seconds, so it clearly has some improving to do if it wants to set any records. Of course it doesn’t actually care about setting any records, just being agile enough to run the KILLHUMANITY.EXE command when Skynet deems it necessary.