Robot hand has no problem giving you the finger

Get your Terminator clichés ready, this robot hand reeks of Skynet. It is designed to function like the human hand, but the main goal is one of robustness. A lot of effort went into making sure this won’t break in the field. Instead of rigid gears, a system of tendons actuates each digit. The pulleys that control these are located in the forearm and each has a spring mechanism that helps to cushion shocks to the apparatus which might damage other grippers. It has bone-crushing power behind the 19 degrees of movement and, as you’ve already guessed, this comes at a pretty steep price tag; topping out around 100,000 Euros. It’s more complicated, and more expensive that jamming grippers, but it’s also far scarier. See for yourself in the silent movie after the break.

[Thanks Erico]


  1. Osgeld says:


  2. kobilica says:

    i expected crushing some bones :(

    but hell nice hand, i want two.

  3. dmcbeing says:

    Hmm, so the steel press wont work this time :S

  4. dbear says:

    two by two hands of blue

  5. robomonkey says:

    it’s like when Bob Morton shook Robocop’s hand

  6. Taylor Alexander says:

    Pfft, I built a hand way more complex than that when I was a fetus.

    Disclaimer: Its my hand.

  7. bty says:

    it seems the budget, rather than the tech was the obstacle in having to wait so long for this development.

  8. X says:

    It’s beautiful. Also, I know that computers and robots could be much more advanced these days if price was not a limiting factor in R&D.

  9. whoolie says:

    I don’t see any reason the cost of the mechanics couldn’t be reduced to the $500-$1000 range. Particularly if it was redesigned to be made from injection molded parts and stamped sheet metal.

    The question is: how much of the sticker price is overkill materials like titanium, how much is small economy of scale fabrication cost, and how much are the control electronics?

    The control electronics have some precision sensors per actuator, and there’s a lot of actuators. The motors themselves could be reduced in cost I’m sure.

    I’m tempted to build one made out of fishing line and corona servos and see how cheap I can go.

  10. Dan says:

    I thinking of getting metal hands. It is a risky operation, but it will be worth it.

  11. woutervddn says:

    who needs metal hands if you have mind control!

  12. Tron says:

    It’s the hand made by the DLR (German Aerospace Center). I have seen it with my own eyes…it’s amazing!

  13. pRoFlT says:

    Do we really need robots with 4 fingers and a thumb? wouldn’t 2 fingers and a thumb be enough? who really uses there ring and pinky fingers anyways. Its not like these robotos are playing the piano or musical instrument.

    There should be a law where you cant make human looking robots! How will we tell them apart on Judgment Day!!!

  14. caleb says:

    @ pRoFIT

    you dont, just kill everyone/thing

  15. A challenge, make a robot hand using discarded printer parts.

    Bonus if it uses the printer’s existing metalwork too.

  16. Scupham says:

    Is there a reason hand developers don’t use the same engineering of our hands?

    For example hold your hand up in front of your palm forward and straighten your fingers, now keep your fingers straight and pull the middle finger down to your palm. The rest of the fingers move, I think this is due to how the muscles are attached to the fingers.

    Just a quick thought but do these mechanisms / flaws in how we move our fingers actually help us to grip more efficiently etc

  17. Necromant says:

    want that!

  18. Refracted_Ahav says:

    @ Scupham : will I will agree with you that that would probably work in most applications I don’t think that we have the ability to create mechanical “muscles” and “tendons” that can be retrained for finer control as human hands can over time.

    It all depends on what you need your robot to do.

  19. Refracted_Ahav says:

    @ caleb & pRoFIT: There’s more to a human being than biological machinery. Unless Robots some how inherit both souls and spirits I think there wouldn’t be be an issue. However if God decided to play a joke on us and actually grant these things to machines, it would interesting to see how a smartphone and a netbook would carry out a debate on the meaning of life, the universe or the merits or demerits of the open source movement. Could you imagine what that would do to a robots psyche to hear two individuales carry on as to wither the next generation of Droids should be windows or linux based? Or the thought that their mind could be wiped and replaced at any given time? I’m glad the tech to treat brains like hard drives hasn’t been realized yet. I wouldn’t trust anyone with that kinda power.

  20. kshade says:

    @Refracted_Ahav nice trolling!

  21. Malikaii says:

    Now I want to see it pop and lock, and do the robot.

  22. Refracted_Ahav says:

    @ Kshade sorry, I just get a little carried away some times.

  23. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    @kobilica=Left and right?
    @pRoFlT=two fingers and a thumb should give you 90precent of what human hands can do. if you want all you need 5, or for prothesis, or androids to replace humans

  24. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    @ pRoFlT

    I use mine all the time.

  25. Rob in Belfast says:

    @ pRoFIT

    Make them not able to bleed, don’t give them a pulse and ensure their pinky finger is a bit weird looking, bent and mutated – no wait, those are the aliens David Vincent tried to warn us about…

    Build them like Walter the Wobot and they can make do with three, sorry, thwee fingers.

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