Robotic Hand [New Dexterity]

Maker and role
University of Auckland, Other contributor
New Dexterity research group, Manufacturer
Production date
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Object detail

Accession number
Production period
A human-like robotic hand. It was designed, developed and manufactured by the New Dexterity Research Group at Auckland University, a part of the Engineering Facility. It is a state-of-the-art piece of robotics, developed for industrial automation purposes. The hand was recently presented at IEEE IROS 2018, the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. New Dexterity was a bronze sponsor and exhibitor.

Part 1: Robotic hand composed of aluminium, 3D-printed plastic, including elastomer polymer and urethane and silicone components. The hand is made up of various internal mechanical controls including five motors in total which control the hand. It has fifteen degrees of freedom.
The hand is made from a hard white plastic with a shiny surface. The plastic is in two pieces joined together. One piece forms the back of the hand, and the other forms the palm side. The hand stands upright on a base, which is made from a circular piece of black plastic with four square feet. This is attached to the white plastic with screws around the bottom edge. On the back of the hand at the bottom is a circular cut-out with three holes. There are three wires extending from the internal part of the hand. These wires attach to the control unit (Part 2). Above this are two circular discs moulded into the plastic with horizontal vents. Above these is a panel of black plastic, with four screws holding it in place. Above the panel are four holes on the top edge of the white plastic, each corresponding to a finger. The fingers are composed of aluminium, with joints which correspond with a human hand. In the centre of each finger is a black plastic piece attached with two screws. There are springs visible in the middle of the fingers. The fingertips are made from curved black plastic, in a permanent grasping gesture, to make it easier for the robotic hand to grip. There is a separate piece of plastic screwed on at the top of the fingers, where the nails would be on a human hand. The inside of the hand, or palm side has the same circular cut-out and two circular discs. On this side, the two discs are above the cut-out. There are curled wires showing through the holes. The palm of the hand is made from a soft black silicone material. The thumb is attached to the right of the palm, with a visible hinge joint. The tips of the fingers and the centre of each finger and thumb have a black plastic pad to assist in gripping objects. There are hinges and springs at each joint. There is a green string which stretches from the fingertip to the internal part of the hand on each finger and the thumb. These mimic the tendons of the hand.

Part 2: Control Unit. The control unit is a small black box made from plastic. The box is secured with four screws in each corner on the top and bottom of the box. There is a Micro USB port in the centre on the front side of the box. The cords for the other control components of the hand are fed into a hole at the back of the box in the top left corner. The three cords connect to the power supply (Part 3), the button (Part 4) and the hand (Part 1).

Part 3: Power supply. Black rectangular power supply unit with a plug at the back. On the front, "POWERTECH" is printed in white. There is a small light on the bottom right. On the back of the unit is a label with white printed text which reads "SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY / MODEL:MP-3316 / PRI: 1--V-240C - 60/50Hz 0.55A / SEC:3/4.5/5/6/7.5/9/12V---2.25A 27VA". underneath this are various diagrams including a tick inside a circle with "N287" beside it and "SAA091002EA" underneath. At the bottom in the centre is a yellow arrow in a circle pointing to 12V. The text around the outside of the circle reads "3V 4.5V 5V 6V 7.5V 9V 12V". On the base of the adaptor is a small oval sticker with a gold background and black text, "Q.C. / PASSED / 26". On the power cord is a yellow label. On the front printed in black is the Auckland University shield, and to the right is “THE UNIVERSITY OF / AUCKLAND / NEW ZEALAND” on one side, and on the back is “AS/NZS3760 TEST TAG / TEST DATE: RETEST DATE / 05/04/2019 05/04/2020/ USER: […] / TEST STATUS: PASS / APP ID: 2.” There is a QR code underneath on the left and “208” on the corner.

Part 4: Control Button. Cream-coloured cylindrical plastic case, with a black circular button at the top in the centre. The cylinder is composed of two pieces of plastic. The cylinder tapers towards the end where it attaches to its power cord.

Part 5: Spare tendon (green string). The string is wrapped around a rectangular piece of brown cardboard. The string is khaki green coloured.
SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY / MODEL:MP-3316 / PRI: 1--V-240C - 60/50Hz 0.55A / SEC:3/4.5/5/6/7.5/9/12V---2.25A 27VA Label
N287, SAA091002EA, 3V 4.5V 5V 6V 7.5V 9V 12V Printed
Q.C. / PASSED / 26 Label
Other name
Robot hand
Credit Line
University of Auckland et al. 2017. Robotic Hand [New Dexterity], 2019.131. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
On display?
On display


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