Hardware

Shadow Robot Hand Finally Ships

Posted 26 May 2005 at 15:37 UTC by steve Share This

Future Feeder reports that the Shadow Robot Company is finally selling their long promised dextrous robot hand. Long time robots.net readers may remember previous reports on the Shadow hand prototypes going back to 2001. The hand is powered by air muscles and controlled by pneumatic valves. Fingers have four degrees of freedom and the thumb five degrees of freedom. A 2DOF wrist connects the hand to the block of air muscles in the forearm. Detailed technical specs (PDF format) on the mechanics, kinematics, and a sensors are available. Their webpage also includes several video clips of the hand in action. A GNU/Linux real-time system with a CAN interface controls everything. All of Shadow's code is Free Software licensed under GNU GPL.

Videos don't show the compressor, posted 26 May 2005 at 22:16 UTC by motters » (Master)

The dexterity of that hand looks impressive, but I would question the use of compressed air as a power supply. Surely this means it needs to be connected to a heavy and noisy compressor, which would limit its usefulness for robotics applications.

Applause, Applause..., posted 27 May 2005 at 03:37 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

You've got to hand it to them, those are some gripping videos. Let me point out that the image thumbnails are beautiful too. I wonder if this thing can operate a palm handheld? :-)

Sensors, posted 1 Jun 2005 at 02:31 UTC by lynca » (Journeyer)

The QTC pads are very impressive. Using PIC micros to handle the incredible number of force finger sensors is quite a challenge. I am curious about the strength to weight ratio of the hand. Having air can present a major improvement to motors in terms of overall lifting power.

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