Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Robotics Hardware

Impressive Robot Hand From Shadow 101

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the more-dextrous-than-me dept.
kkleiner writes "The Shadow Dextrous Hand is a robotic arm that allows for fine motor control and precise movements. It's accurate enough to pick up an egg, screw in a light bulb, or thread a needle. Even cooler, researchers can control it with a 'Cyber glove,' allowing for 24 distinct human movements that mimic the user's own hand. A British based company, Shadow, has been displaying the hand for several years now, and recently demonstrated its latest model at IREX 2009. The hand, toted as the world's most advanced, is available for sale to researchers (pricing has not been made public)."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Impressive Robot Hand From Shadow

Comments Filter:
  • I want one (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    One of these, a rubber glove, lube and a bottle of wine and I'm set.

  • this sure seems like a handy invention.
  • No published price and 'for sale to researchers' means $100k+. That's competitive with the current robot hand market such as it is.

  • Egg fraud (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
    It is almost impossible to smash an egg by grasping it. This dissipates the crushing force over the entire surface of the egg. Try it yourself, you can't crush an egg in your hand no matter how hard you squeeze. Where was the well-educated, erudite journalist on this one, exposing this hoary old "Newton's Apple" gimmick to the world? Oh wait, the linked article is a press release passed off as an article, and slashdot is just a blog not a news source.
    • that's definitely not true at all. you just want people to get egg on their trousers. wow, i've never used the word trousers before.
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:25PM (#30599018) Journal
      WARNING: Do not actually try this!!

      Try it yourself, you can't crush an egg in your hand no matter how hard you squeeze.

      Hey douchebag, that's not true at all. I've got egg all over my desk, my monitor, my pants, and my shirt now.

      Of course, it could just be because I used my masturbating hand to do it... that hand is much stronger.

      Anyway, it's not the distribution of force over the shell that makes hand-crushing an egg difficult. It's the fact that most people simply can't generate enough force at that position due to how the hand is shaped -- a lot of the force is dispersed by deforming the hand tissue, not the egg. The trick is to have the narrow end of the egg towards your thumb, and to squeeze like you're milking a cow but with the palm, not with the fingers). This loads the first portion of the force exerted into deforming your palm, and the last portion is almost entirely directed into the egg.

      Note also that a robotic hand does not have the physiological limitations a human hand does.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by spun (1352)

        Note also that a robotic hand does not have the physiological limitations a human hand does.

        To be more accurate, a robot hand does not have the same limitations as a human hand. For instance, while camping, a little warm bacon grease from the skillet will suffice to allow the human hand to fulfill it's duties. What kind of a battery pack would you need to drag along with this thing, and how much does it weigh? You'd probably need some kind of pack-llama to carry it, and if you've got a llama anyhow...

        • by selven (1556643)

          Artificial body parts that feed on your blood's glucose are now in development.

        • by Abstrackt (609015) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @05:38PM (#30599904)

          For instance, while camping, a little warm bacon grease from the skillet will suffice to allow the human hand to fulfill it's duties.

          I didn't think it was possible to love bacon too much until I read this...

        • For instance, while camping, a little warm bacon grease from the skillet will suffice to allow the human hand to fulfill it's duties.

          Note to self: Do not allow Spun to prep my food next time we're camping.
          2nd note to self: Allow bacon grease to cool away from the fire a while before attempting.
          3rd note to self: Research llama farms in NJ.

          • by rts008 (812749)

            4th note to self: find old fashioned sprig-type clothespin for nose...llamas STINK!

            They are also vile, evil-tempered beasts that will readily show their displeasure by regurgitating their rumen contents on you. (think camels 'spitting' on you-llamas are just small, hairy camels) The smell sticks to you for days, despite baths and showers...just like being sprayed by a skunk.

            Stick with proven standby (stand-in?) sheep and over-sized rubber boots...or, so I've heard...

      • ... squeeze like you're milking a cow but with the palm ...

        I have no idea what that is. The closest I've gotten to touching a cow is a Gateway computer.

    • It is also impossible to crush an egg against your own eye socket, or in your armpit, as these perfectly cup the egg, again dissipating the forces.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BronsCon (927697)

        But is it possible to crush an egg in your ass? I would think it depends how firm your buttocks are.

      • It is also impossible to crush an egg against your own eye socket, or in your armpit, as these perfectly cup the egg, again dissipating the forces.

        Hmm... I'm sure I couldn't crush an egg in my armpit, because all the force I could exert would just deform my somewhat-flabby hairpits. But next time I'm already on antibiotics for some reason, I'll try one against my eyesocket. Seems to me it should be possible, as long as the egg is large enough to bridge the from the upper orbital to the cheekbone. That's

    • by Ractive (679038)

      It is almost impossible to smash an egg by grasping it.

      It's OK Mr Burns... but some people actually can.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Shit, you really are a scrawny nerd.

      Maybe you should do a little exercise

      • Nope. Try it, take an egg from the refrigerator and grip it like a baseball. Try to crush it. It won't work. It's an old science trick from the sort of fellow who used to visit middle schools.
        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          So not only do you need to hit the gym, you need to hit the dictionary.

          Grasping does not mean putting it in your hand and squeezing, if means using the fingers to clasp. And I can easily break an egg like that - there's a lot of force applied to the small area of one finger/thumb tip.

          Seriously if you can't break an egg holding it like: http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/images/grips/pitching_grips.gif [thecompletepitcher.com] then you need to start eating.

          And yes, just in case chickens had evolved thicker egg shells in the last few

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            And yes, just in case chickens had evolved thicker egg shells in the last few years I just broke an egg.

            YHBT, HTH, BLNT. HAND!

            • by nedlohs (1335013)

              Actually I lied about that part, so the idiot not involved in the discussion was the trollee, I guess.

              But I break eggs with one hand almost every morning when I make my "heart attack please" breakfast, so I will be trying the grasp approach in 12 hours time...

    • by geekoid (135745)

      If you apply the force evenly. Also, it's almost impossible for normal human strength.

      You don't really ahve much of a grasp of news source.

      heh, I said grasp.

    • First of all, what fraud with the egg? The article nor the summary doesn't talk about crushing an egg, nor is it in the video. The article mentions the word "egg" once:

      Its accurate enough to pick up an egg, [...]

      That being said, even if they DID have a demo of it crushing an egg, there are several ways to do this:
      1) Using an empty egg shell in the gesturing hand.
      2) Not having an egg at all in the gesturing hand.
      3) Actually breaking the egg by hand [youtube.com]

      As others have pointed out, the robot doesn't have our physic

    • This dissipates the crushing force over the entire surface of the egg. Try it yourself, you can't crush an egg in your hand no matter how hard you squeeze.

      I read this once too. Place an egg in the palm of your hand and try to crush it. When I was 12 I couldn't do it. By 18 it was a simple thing to squish it to pieces. If you don't place it precisely in your hand so that your fingers aren't exerting pressure then it will break very easily.

    • Try it yourself, you can't crush an egg in your hand no matter how hard you squeeze.

      Have you ever tried?
      It's easy to do, and with practice you can let out only the egg from your fist, leaving all the broken shell in your hand to be discarded. It's quicker than the traditional way of breaking eggs to make am omelet. Since you should wash your hands after handling eggs anyhow, no time is lost there.

    • Slashdot. News for birds. Stuff that splatters.
  • Seriously I think the delay might be a bit much for a Mars rover, but it might be nice to have one of thes to collect samples, turn over rocks or something with a rover.

    The ISS has the Canadarm, but it also has a robot named Dextre to move along the Canadarm tracks on the ISS, it has different power tools it could use, this might be a nice new one.

    If course the last question is are there direct kits without the glove that let the electrocdes in the brain guys tinker with its life-like hand movements?

    • We've been doing some work with the European Space Agency looking at how you might use something derived from this on their hardware... but it's a long way away from flying!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:17PM (#30598908)

    This might be something to remember if your father ever cuts off your hand.

    • I sure hope that's where this is heading. Now that they have the basics, they need to start shrinking it down to human size and partnering with researchers who do mind-machine interfaces. And of course the power issue. But it's amazing to think that in perhaps one or two more generations people might be able to get a fully articulated replacement arm and hand.
  • by scapermoya (769847) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:19PM (#30598926) Homepage
    robot hand + machine-written journalism = infinite fun!
  • Links are old (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Links above go to 2006 video. Here's a link to the current demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV6wkczWopY

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Q: how many robot hands does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Just one... didn't you RTFA?

  • by v1 (525388)

    I'm surprised that this is their most advanced model and appears to have no wrist articulation whatsoever.

    And the index finger control was obviously off by quite a bit.

    NOT impressed. Anyone remember their Robotron? and this is all the better we've gotten in all those years?

    • by kkleiner (1468647)
      The video is not of their latest model - it shows a model from a few years ago. Presumably the latest model is more advanced
  • by StCredZero (169093) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:29PM (#30599068)

    DARPA funded research on haptics and "Waldoes" (nickname for remotely operated manipulators from Heinlein) starting in the 80s. A lot of this know-how ended up in Sarcos corporation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhj3Z9o6t0g [youtube.com]

    http://www.sarcos.com/teleop_videos.html [sarcos.com]

    The problem with haptics technology is that mechanisms complicated enough to mimic parts of the human body, like the arms and hands, will tend to be more expensive and less robust than simpler manipulators. Much of the DARPA research from the 80s was motivated by the need to work underwater at great depths. Most current underwaters RPVs don't use advanced haptics, because the work can be done with simpler and more robust manipulators.

    Prosthesis can change this, however. A mass produced prosthetic arm could drive down the cost of such mechanisms. This could lead to further advances and cost reduction in haptics technology.

    We are actually at the point where we could build a Gundam style mecha. (Has to be large enough to contain a whole-body haptic harness with complete freedom of motion.) But there is no practical reason to do so. (Other than to provide an even cooler spectacle at "monster truck" rallies.)

    (Also it would probably have an Evangelion-like extension cord coming out the back for power and possibly hydraulics.)

    • by g0bshiTe (596213)
      And it would be totally kick ass to see it crush a monster truck.

      "My +5 mecha of death crushes your obviously inferior +2 monster truck."
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Also handy to have your robots be able to pick up an enemy's weapon and use it.... handy for them, not for us humans i.e. the enemy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Blah blah cyberdyne blah blah

    Just trying to get it out of the way.

  • Is the robot hand dextrous enough to build a dextrous robot hand?

  • by EkriirkE (1075937)
    They are still using (animatronic) cables for joint movements, and the controlling motors in the "arm" make it ginormous!
    Any hobbyist with bicycle brake cable and a few servos can build something like this. And the latency displayed in the video between glove & machine is horrible.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      "Any hobbyist with bicycle brake cable and a few servos can build something like this"

      haha, good luck.

      If it's ginormous, then just build bigger robots.

  • Movements reminded me of a spider. Kinda creepy.
  • waldo, not robot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:42PM (#30599256) Homepage
    Isn't this a waldo, rather than a robot? My understanding is that a robot is defined as something that is at least somewhat autonomous, at least to the extent that it incorporates a feedback loop [wikipedia.org]. For instance, some of the earliest robots from the mid-20th century were little things that rolled around on the floor searching for bright light. A Roomba is a robot. If all it does is shadow the motion of your hand, then I think it's called a waldo [wikipedia.org] (named after a science fiction story by Robert Heinlein) or a remote manipulator. Most likely they're using the term "robot" because it makes a better marketing term.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      It is unfortunate that we use the term "robot" to refer both to truly autonomous vehicles and to what are essentially remote controlled vehicles (e.g. Robot Wars [wikipedia.org]. While I would prefer the term "robot" only be used for machines that can think for themselves, I suspect that "Waldo Wars" would not a huge marketing success.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      My understanding is that a robot is defined as something that is at least somewhat autonomous

      It is not. In fact "robot" is quite ill defined.

      Some people want it to only mean autonomous machines, others only human-shaped machines, but in its originating play, it referred to what we'd now call replicants. It's used to refer to androids and remote controlled planes and everything in between.

    • The video is showing a standalone Shadow Hand connected to a standalone CyberGlove which does the control. You can drive the Hand from any source of position data you want to generate - teleoperating it with a CyberGlove is just one of the options for control. So it's a robot that can be used as a waldo.
  • Video on YouTube of High-Speed Robot Hand [youtube.com].
    • by geekoid (135745)

      It only has 3 fingers, prosthetic fail.

      cool though, but it's built for a different thing.

  • ...Sarah and John Connor will come by with a big guy from the future to get it back soon.
  • Would any of this tech. be useful for prosthetic arms?

  • Will the Robotic Hand from Shadow be able to defeat the Orbots?
    Tune in after the break to find out!

    • Nope, it'll just wake up at exactly the right time and strangle, er, someone.

      Damn, I hate it when I can't tell a joke because it's too much of a spoiler....

  • Because I for one was expecting that hand to rip out that girl's throat at the end of that video.
  • "The hand, toted as the world's most advanced, is available for sale to researchers..." Damn, that must get heavy after a while.
  • That's just creepy.

    It didn't seem to track the hand movements very well.

  • Anyone who has a hand impairment like a quadriplegic or has studied hand movement knows that full wrist articulation is paramount. The wrist can even expand and contract some atrophied hand and forearm muscles so that fingers partly open and close.

    Even if this isn't their newest video, what it shows is sadly they don't understand fundamental hand/wrist finger interaction.

    I suppose this is not a robotic related rant ... but the sense of touch is still missing here and that seems lacking in the restorative

    • The Hand has two of the wrist movements, but not the forearm rotation. Mainly because most of the time it gets bolted onto a robot arm that provides that movement already.
  • ..Sitting on my arm until it goes numb so I can pretend I have a girlfriend
  • I had a chance to see a similar model from Shadow at IROS2008 (big robotics conference) in France and spoke to the sales rep. I remember he quoted the demo hand to be around 100k British pounds (yes, 6 figures!). Had to be one of the most expensive price/weight thing I've ever got to touched.
  • I would much prefer it if we were using Vorlon technology for our synthetic hands.

  • A robot hand gets more action than I do!

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.

Working...