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Advanced robotic hand promises fewer production headaches

Improved magnetic fluid helps device adjust to all sorts of objects

Maeda Kiko's robotic grip holds an orange without crushing it.

KITAKYUSHU, Japan Robots have transformed production lines, but they have an Achilles' heel -- er, hand, to be more precise. Their inability to grip a variety of objects creates a lot of extra work. Often, robotic hands must be designed to deal with specific parts, and when the parts change, the hands must be swapped with new ones.

Now, a Japanese industrial machinery trading company says it has hit on a solution.

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