UK Unveils Robotic Innovations to Protect Soldiers

14 February 2010 (Last Updated February 14th, 2010 18:30)

A robot hand that can defuse bombs and a luminous goo that will protect soldiers from getting hit have been unveiled by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). The robotic hand developed by the Shadow Robot Company mimics the movements of a controller wearing a sensory glove and can be used at

A robot hand that can defuse bombs and a luminous goo that will protect soldiers from getting hit have been unveiled by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The robotic hand developed by the Shadow Robot Company mimics the movements of a controller wearing a sensory glove and can be used at a range of hundreds of metres.

The hand is expected to enter service within two years for bomb disposal operations, and the company is also developing robotic limbs for use in radioactive environments, according to Fox News.

In addition, the UK defence ministry has also unveiled an army uniform that conducts electricity and computer data through internally woven "conductive yarns".

Intelligent Textiles developed the uniform, which runs off a central battery pack that allows troops to attach electrical equipment to powerpoints on their uniform and run internal heaters to keep them warm.

The uniform, which is also being considered by the Canadian military, is believed to remove 2kg from the weight of equipment for troops in combat and can conduct electricity around the damaged area without loss of power even if the material is pierced.

The innovations were demonstrated at an MoD event held at the Centre for Defence Enterprise in Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK.