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Shadow Hand

A black prosthetic hand that imitates human fingers and tendons holds a mug of a dark liquid.
Coffee? Or tea? Photo: Shadow Robot Co.

The Shadow Dexterous Hand is one of the most advanced robot hands in the world. It's designed to replicate as much of the functionality, dimensions, and range of motion of the human hand as possible.


Shadow Robot Company

United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Control this robot hand with your own hands. Video: Shadow Robot Company

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Did you know?

Shadow's founder Richard Greenhill says the company began in 1987 as a hobbyist group that'd gather in the attic of his London home. His wife would cook a big pot of spaghetti and the group would work through the night fuelled by copious amounts of tea and coffee.

Front and back view of a five fingered robotic hand.
The Shadow Hand is made of plastics and aluminum. Photo: Shadow Robot Co.
A black prosthetic hand that imitates human fingers and tendons pinches a miniature globe between two fingers.
I got the whole world, in my hand. Photo: Shadow Robot Co.

More Images

A robotic five fingered hand attached to a base gestures. To it's right is a smiling man doing the same gesture with his hands, wearing a special hand brace and sensors.
The hand can be used as part of a haptic telerobotic system. Photo: Shadow Robot Co.
The robotic hand is shown upright with long corded tendons, and with fingers folded and thumb sticking out.
The hand is powered by tendons. Photo: Shadow Robot Co.
Two black prosthetic hands that imitate human fingers and tendons shake hands.
Old Shadow Hand greets new Shadow Hand. Photo: Shadow Robot Co.



For teleoperation and telepresence applications, the Shadow Hand can be combined with tactile sensors and controlled via a haptic glove for touch-feedback, enabling users to perform manipulation tasks at a remote location without physically being there. Anthropomorphic design mimics size, shape, and degrees of freedom of the human hand. Equipped with position and tactile sensors in the hand.





13.5 cm
44.8 cm
13.5 cm
4.3 kg

Six-axis gyro and accelerometer, joint angle sensors, force-torque sensors, tactile sensors, current and temperature sensors.


20 Maxon motors using PWM. Each motor node implements a PID controller, which can be set to do force control on the tendons at the motor end or position control on the joints.

Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
24 (24 total DoF. 20 actuated DoF. Finger: 3 DoF x 4; Thumb: 5 DoF; Palm: 1 DoF; Wrist: 2 DoF)

Combination of metals and plastics including aluminium, brass, acetyl, polycarbonate, and polyurethane flesh.


Multi-core laptop running Ubuntu with EtherCAT compatible network ports.


Custom software based on the Robot Operating System (ROS). Software in the host PC provides sensor calibration and scaling, mappings from sensor names to hardware, and easy access to all robot capabilities from Python and C++.


48-V 2.5-A power supply

£50000-90000 (depending on configuration)