Safety is a critical characteristic for robots designed to operate in human environments. This paper presents the concept of hybrid actuation for the development of human-friendly robotic systems. The new design employs inherently safe pneumatic artificial muscles augmented with small electrical actuators, human-bone-inspired robotic links, and newly designed distributed compact pressure regulators. The modularization and integration of the robot components enable low complexity in the design and assembly. The hybrid actuation concept has been validated on a two-degree-of-freedom prototype arm. The experimental results show the significant improvement that can be achieved with hybrid actuation over an actuation system with pneumatic artificial muscles alone. Using the Manipulator Safety Index (MSI), the paper discusses the safety of the new prototype and shows the robot arm safety characteristics to be comparable to those of a human arm.