Recent advances in robotic prosthesis technologies include a sense of touch, greater range of motion, and brain-to-computer interfaces (BCI) that enable a user to control movement by thinking. Poland-based Clone Incorporated Is leaping forward with biomimetic robotic hands capable of moving so much like human hands that it’s easy to mistake them for the real thing.

Clone’s anthropomorphic hands are the size of live human hand and include a half arm bone. The hand structure is 23.6 inches (60 cm) long from the tip of the middle finger to the point where the prosthetic attaches to an elbow. Artificial muscles attach to the bones in the hand to enable thumb rotation and moving fingers left to right as well as gripping and letting go. The Clone Hand also can move the wrist, lock the elbow joint, and pronate and supinate the forearm in a natural manner. A 500-watt brushless DC motor powers a hydraulic system that draws from a 0.5-liter water reservoir. There are also pressure sensor custom electro-hydraulic valves for each of the hand and arm’s 36 McKibben muscles. Videos of the Clone Hand show a transparent covering over the arm section of the robot to show the movement of the muscles below the surface. According to the developer, McKibben muscles are as strong as human muscles and respond to commands to flex and relax in a similar manner. When it is released later in 2023, the Clone Hand will come in a small, lightweight suitcase along with the hydraulic power supply, 36 values, a 180-watt-hour battery pack, and a Raspberry PI 4B 8GB processor board.

The Clone Hand’s movements on videos on the Clone YouTube channel can be a bit disconcerting because they seem so incredibly lifelike. The videos demonstrate the hand’s strength, flexibility, grip force, and range of motion. Whether the Clone Hand is lifting a dumbbell, accepting a suitcase by the handle, or shaking hands with a human, the movements are impressively human-like. Clone is currently accepting pre-orders for the Clone Hand and for the Clone Torso, a robotic component with arms from the shoulder to the fingertips.