Making robots with human dexterity

Posted on 02 Jan 2018 and read 440 times
Making robots with human dexterityA revolutionary type of robotic hand — marketed as the ‘Shadow Dexterous Hand’ — is transforming the way many industry sectors use robots.

Developed by the Shadow Robot Co (www.shadowrobot.com), it takes a new approach to robotic manipulation, closely mimicking the dexterity of the human hand.

With 20deg of freedom, force sensors, and ultra-sensitive touch sensors on the fingertips, it can perform many tasks that were previously beyond the reach of robots and can be used as a tele-operation tool or mounted on a range of robot arms.

Its applications include product testing and manufacturing, in sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals to farming.


Telford-based Proto Labs worked with the Shadow Robot Co during the hand’s development, to mould the plastic parts for its fingers and achieve the highly specific geometries required for the finger movement, plus the desired surface finish.

It also machined aluminium parts for the Pressure Sensor Tactiles, which make the fingertips highly sensitive.

The Shadow Robot Co was founded in 1987 by a group of robotics enthusiasts in London.

The group has since evolved into one of the longest-running robotics companies in the UK, developing dexterous manipulation technologies (‘hands for robots’) and using them to solve real-world problems.

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