The Shadow Robot Company Makes a Telerobotic Hand


Mar 3, 2018
Wired reports that The Shadow Robot Company has made a breakthrough it telerobotics. According to their own experience with "Shadow Hand," the company has made an eerily accurate representation of the human hand that can be controlled with a glove from a continent away. The whole system was running though a 4G phone with "very little latency," and the glove itself transmits sensations the robotic hand "feels" back to the user. The creators envision using such systems in situations that would put regular human limbs in danger, and say there's a significant risk that they'll "tumble into the uncanny valley of robot touch" in the near future, when haptic feedback is realistic, but not quite indistinguishable from the real thing.

Check out a short video of the system here.

On each of the hand's fingertips is a dome dotted with 24 electrodes, on top of which is a skin of silicon. When SynTouch injects saline, it creates a kind of sea between the skin and the electrodes. Put pressure on the fingertip and the electrodes detect the change in resistance in the saline, giving the hand the power to sense touch in fine detail... Once you get a hang of the perspective, it truly feels like you've reached your arm across the Atlantic, go go gadget style. "A light brush will trigger a partial inflation of our actuators, lightly displacing the skin on the user's fingertips," says Michael Eichermueller, director of R&D and the lead on HaptX's telerobotics project. "A full squeeze of a ball will trigger a full inflation and activate our force-feedback exoskeleton, simultaneously pressing the skin and restricting finger motion around the edges of the ball." That restriction replicates the feeling of holding a solid object, when in reality there's nothing in my hand.
First usage case: Porn industry.
Reminds me of the Big Bang Theory episode:

Of course you put your state of the art hand on a cheap Danish robot arm, exactly similar to the one i got to do my painting, which it did just fine using +200% more paint - 100 % more filters in the paint booth and 300% slower than me.
I'm sure this will only be used 100% for science. And not robo fapping. Definitely not robo fapping.