A UK company is developing a robotic arm, which fully mimics a human hand.

It is hoped the programming needed to make a prototype arm which can fetch a drink could be completed within a year.

The Shadow Robot Company, based in north London, hopes eventually to develop a robot that can perform a wide variety of tasks for disabled people.

The Hand is driven from a block of Air Muscles mounted behind the Hand on the “forearm”. Pneumatic valves and initial control software are provided. The joints are driven by an opposing pair of muscles, permitting variable compliance at the joint; however, some of the finger joints are driven by a single muscle with return spring. More here.