Frequently asked questions
See our answers to the most common questions we receive from researchers, customers, investors, and fans.
Yes, but first we are building androids.
The prosthesis requires the creation of an advanced neural interface and regulatory approval. At the moment, our team is focusing on the durability of the hand and miniaturization of the power supply system. Developing a suitable neural interface requires a lot of resources but is feasible. Once we develop the hardware for artificial limbs and the neural interface, bringing the prosthesis to market will not be a problem.
First, the world is designed for human hands. Humans have built countless tools intended to be used by human hands. While parallel-jaw grippers or suction cups will make useful end-effectors for particularly simple tasks, they will stall when faced with even “simple” challenges such as securely picking up and holding a cast-iron pan.
Second, training the brain of a robot requires data. Over the past 30 years, the internet has accumulated millions of hours of human video data. As of 2022, this internet video data can be leveraged with self-supervised pre-training to bootstrap a robot brain, allowing a robot to learn new manipulation tasks with few real-world demonstrations. However, this process is still difficult and relatively slow when using robots with simpler end-effectors. Durable, human-level, hands will accelerate robot learning from human videos and extend the robot brain’s ability to solve increasingly complex, compositional tasks.
All macro-scale robots today, including those with anthropomorphic hands use DC motors for actuation. While this may work for joints with three degrees of freedom, human-level hands require actuators that are far more robust to chaos in the environment. A general-purpose robot performing many tasks in a “chaotic” environment such as a human household will need to actuate its hands with a mechanism that can adapt to strong, random forces from the environment, which is where Clone’s artificial muscles succeed.
If you’re interested in purchasing a beta Clone Hand, fill out an order form, and we’ll add you to our waitlist. Our first Clone Hands will ship late 2022.
The Clone Hand includes all 27 degrees of freedom in the human hand.
The Clone Torso includes 124 muscles in the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back. The Clone Torso’s spine is rigid with an actuated hinge at the tailbone. Again, there are pressure sensors in every muscle and magnetic encoders embedded into every joint. The lower body will include an off-the-shelf locomotion platform and battery pack.
The highest in demand use cases are environments unsafe for humans, which include nuclear waste facilities, wet labs, meat processors, space stations, and chemical plants. However, this question is a limited one. The durable, human-level hand represents the most universal tool for the real world, and every person in the world should own his/her own android that obeys.