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Shadow Dextrous Hand
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The Shadow Hand is the closest robot hand to the human hand available. It provides 24 movements, allowing a direct mapping from a human to the robot.     Online:
 
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The Shadow Hand is the closest robot hand to the human hand available. It provides 24 movements, allowing a direct mapping from a human to the robot. It has integrated sensing and position control, allowing precise control from off-board computers, or integration into your existing robot platform.

The Shadow Hand contains an integrated bank of 40 Air Muscles which make it move. The Air Muscle is a small, light, simple and 'friendly' actuator. It is soft, has no stiction, is easily controllable and exceptionally powerful. The muscles are compliant, which allows the Hand to be used around soft or fragile objects. The Shadow Hand can be fitted with touch sensing on the fingertips, offering sensitivity sufficient to detect a single small coin.

Applications :

The Shadow Dexterous Hand is an advanced robot hand system that reproduces all the movements of the human hand and provides comparable force output and sensitivity. This means it can pick up or handle small to medium sized objects and perform precision tasks, so robots using it can have the versatility of humans.

The sensitivity and compliance of the Hand makes it possible for us to manipulate delicate objects such as fruit and eggs. For the same reason, the Hand is safe around human beings, since it is less strong than a person.

Being the same size as a human hand, the system is versatile and suitable for use for a variety of purposes:

ReseARCh
At the moment the Hand is mainly sold for research purposes. The University of Bielefeld is using the Shadow Dexterous Hand in their research into situated learning. Carnegie Mellon is using it in their reseARCh into grasping. NASA's Robonaut group bought a Shadow Dexterous Hand "to inspire their engineers". Others are interested in using the Hand as a component in their neurological projects, rehabilitation projects, as part of humanoid robots, and many more applications.

Handling of delicate objects
Handling fruits, eggs and other delicate objects is a task that, at the moment, can only be performed by human beings. In order not to break or bruise the objects a certain level of sensitivity and compliance is necessary, The Shadow Dexterous Hand excels in these areas.

Telepresence operations
A remote system using the Shadow Hand technology will allow an operator to work in an inaccessible area. This could be a harmful environment where radiation, toxic chemicals or biological hazards are present. The Shadow Dexterous Hand can also allow specialists to be present, whenever needed, anywhere across the world, even in places where humans can not reach. This way machine repair could be done for example on drilling platforms, inside wind turbines etc. Also medical examination, education and training by experts could be done on long distance. Even bomb disposal could be done this way!

Rehabilitation and assistive technology
One has to be very careful with people in physiotherapy when doing exercises. The right pressure is required, the movements have to be smooth and the actuation needs to be safe. In order for an electronic or robotic device to help the therapist, it needs the same kind of care. Safety is paramount whenever a robot comes into direct contact with people. The muscle technology makes the hand soft, compliant and human-friendly. Therefore we see the Hand technology being useful in rehabilitation and assistive devices.

Ergonomic ReseARCh
When doing ergonomic reseARCh, one is often in need of a model of a human hand. The Shadow Dexterous Hand is an almost perfect reproduction. It can be used to test all kinds of objects that are designed for human hands: gloves, tools, pens, handles, etc. We also see uses for the Hand in the testing of all kinds of human manipulation, for example the accessibility of objects.

Shadow's objective is to have the Shadow Dexterous Hand as part of a whole system that would help people in their daily environment. It would be a great help, not only for the disabled and the elderly but also for working parents who would rather spend time with their kids than doing the washing and ironing.

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Shadow Dextrous Hand

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