Shadow’s Dexterous Hand

shadow hand

The Shadow Robot Company is now offering its Dexterous Hand for public sale. The joints are powered by the company’s Air Muscles, usually in pairs to provide a variable grip. The Air Muscle is a rubber tube encased in a “Chinese finger trap” style plastic webbing. When the muscle is inflated with compressed air it contracts. This simple system results in a 400:1 power to weight ratio. The bundle of muscles required to operate the hand makes for a very large Popeye-esque forearm so we probably won’t be seeing anything humanoid based on this anytime soon. They have GPL’d control code available though so anybody that wants to start developing for this will probably have a pretty easy time. You still have to justify paying an “arm and a leg” for a hand. The site has some good movement videos for you to check out. Just don’t mimic the movements; there’s a reason robots can’t feel pain.

[via Future Feeder]

11 thoughts on “Shadow’s Dexterous Hand

  1. how does one go about finding how much this thing costs?

    is it in the technical doc pdf? if so, could someone be so kind as to tell me how much? i currently don’t have adobe’s reader installed yet.

  2. the real trick here is the implementation of these innovative artificial muscles. what other sorts of stuff can hackers use that method of actuation? air solenoid valves aren’t necessarily cheap but I’ve been known to get my hands on older ones.

  3. I saw a far more interesting and budget conscious implementation of this a few years back at Iternational Science Fair. It was a dexterous hand that mimiced the action of the user wearing a nintendo power glove. The guy that did it is a buddy of mine, I will see if he has some information about it kicking around on the net somewhere. Until then, cheers.

  4. The hand is cool! I can tell someone has access
    to a Machine shop and Molding Equipment.Im
    jealous, Plastic and Resin molding is very
    usefull.They should add some sensors in the
    Finger tips to detect touch pressure,Texture

  5. Thank you for posting this information. I found your site while searching Bing for a reputable car dealer. Your article about Shadow’s Dexterous Hand – Hack a Day sounded interesting so I stopped by. Thanks for sharing. Ernesto from San Pedro, TX.

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