The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand

The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand

The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand

United Kingdom / Robot


A simplified version of the most advanced robotic Dextrous Hand available in the world, this 2-Finger Robot hand invites us to explore the future of sensing and intelligent systems in robotics.

The Shadow Robot Company, one of the longest running robotics companies in the UK, specialises in the development of dexterous manipulation for humanoid robotics. This has led to the creation of the worlds most advanced robot hand, the Shadow Dexterous Hand. We are presenting here a simplifed version of it, The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand, on loan from the University Paris Descartes (Paris 5) where the Intelligent Control for Robotics group are using the Hand controlled as a testbed for future Brain Machine Interfaces. The team at Paris Descartes are measuring brain signals directly and using them to control the movement of the robotic finger and thumb.

The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand allows precise manipulation control from off-board computers, or integration into an existing robot platform, and can be controlled remotely by a Cyberglove. The Shadow Hand can be fitted with a number of touch sensing options to increase its level of interaction with its surroundings. Working with the Shadow Dexterous Hand, our partners Syntouch and the University of Southern California, are making great advancements in robotics by integrating new sensors that mimic the sensitivity of the human fingertip. This will create a wide range of movement and handling, enabling the Hand to identify a broad range of natural materials according to their textures.

Combining these two areas of research will allow our future selves to operate robots using our minds directly, whether these robots are in our own homes or on the other side of the world. Intelligent robots will act according to our will rather than requiring sophisticated interfaces or programming. This is an important step on the road to creating intelligent systems that can operate on our behalf.


Shadow Robot Company

Shadow Robot was founded in 1987 by a group of robotics enthusiasts in North London. Since then the group has become one of the longest running robotics companies in the UK. Shadow has been developing robots and other unusual technologies since its inception.

For the last ten years, along with a wide selection of robotics contract engineering, Shadow has specialised in the development of dexterous manipulation for humanoid robotics. The company has been involved in a number of interesting projects, as new technologies are forever arising, and has managed to adapt and produce outstanding work in Mechanical, Electronic, Software and Pneumatic Engineering.

Our collaborations range from theatre projects with Leeds University and Museum Animatronics, to working with both NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) and universities throughout the world.

We are also highly experienced in Air Muscle technologies, the company’s original developed expertise, with which we designed the first prototype Hand in 1998.

The Shadow team currently consists of full-time engineers, plus support staff and a network of associates. Their skills range from mechanical engineering to real-time software and systems.

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The 2-Finger Shadow Dexterous Hand
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