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RBO Hand 2

The RBO Hand 2 is a pneumatically actuated robotic hand made from soft continuum actuators. The hand was developed to investigate the capabilities and limits of hands when relying only on soft, deformable structures. The unique technology provides several advantageous benefits to robots trying to interact with the environment:


  • It is very robust against blunt collisions

  • It provides very low inertia and frictionless motion by the actuators

  • Passively compliant fingers and palm decouple contact from the robot arm, stabilizing contacts

  • It adapts to object shapes due to its many Degrees of Freedom, which simplifies finger control

  • The pneumatic actuation makes it easy to create complex hand and actuator geometries and modify them

  • It is passively safe, making it usable for Human-Robot-Interaction


The basic  building blocks of an RBO Hand 2 are seven PneuFlex actuators and a plastic scaffold to arrange the actuators into a proper hand. 

In total, four different actuator shapes are present in the hand, which are produced using an openly documented multistep molding process. The CAD files provide both actuator models and mold models to produce all required actuators.

Contrary to most robot hands, the RBO Hand 2 is actuated using compressed air. Usually, the hand is complemented with a pneumatic control system, such as  the PneumaticBox (  The actuators of the RBO Hand 2 can be operated safely to up to 80 kPa (0.8 bar).


Oliver Brock 

Raphael Deimel



Technische Universität Berlin

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