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Science & Technology

Humans could soon be equipped with extra robotic body parts

By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2023 · Comment icon 5 comments

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Richard Greenhill and Hugo Elias
Need an extra hand at work ? Before too long, you might actually be able to get one... quite literally.
The fusion of the human body with robotic components has long been explored in science-fiction, but it is not outside the realms of possibility that augmenting ourselves with additional limbs will actually become a common practice in the not-too-distant future.

According to cognitive neuroscientist Tamar Makin of Cambridge University, the use of additional robotic body parts could have the potential to significantly increase productivity in the workplace.

"If you want an extra arm while you're cooking in the kitchen so you can stir the soup while chopping the vegetables, you might have the option to wear and independently control an extra robotic arm," she said.

Steps towards such a possibility have already been taken, with another researcher at the university having already developed a 3D-printed thumb that can be attached to someone's hand.

Its designer - Dani Clode - maintains that the extra thumb could help a waiter carry more plates, for example, and can be adapted to aid any other specific workplace activity.
"We spoke with a surgeon [who] was really interested in holding his camera whilst he's doing shoulder surgery, rather than his assistant holding his camera," she said.

"He wanted to be in full control of the tools that he's using with the two hands whilst also holding that camera and being able to manipulate that as well."

In the future, it is not unreasonable to imagine entire additional arms, eyewear that enhances vision and other robotic augmentations that could make a person stronger and faster.

Eventually, equipping such a device could become as trivial as putting on a pair of glasses.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by the13bats 9 months ago
While back i saw a cat in 7 11 who had i guess state of art prosthetic hand lower arm, it was what appeared to be a mix of kelvar, plastic etc, the thing that stood out was the amount of movement and finger dexterity it had, he did more with it than his other hand.
Comment icon #2 Posted by flying squid 9 months ago
They are behind the Terminator by a couple of decades.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Vox 9 months ago
Exactly.  How about instead of getting extra arms, legs, whatever, how about they concentrate all of their resources in helping amputees getting fully functioning limbs?  I appreciate that in any further developments as the article suggests there will be a parallel improvement of amputees fortunes, but still…
Comment icon #4 Posted by Bendy Demon 9 months ago
Speaking of prosthetics, I would like to see a type of cybernetic limb much like the Auto Mail on FullMetal Alchemist where the prosthetic is patched directly into the nervous system (provided the brain is still trying to send signals to the missing limb) and functions like the real thing. I realize this is basically a fantasy and the technology is still far off but wouldn't it be great to utilize all that technology to actually help people rather than wasting it on weapons?
Comment icon #5 Posted by the13bats 9 months ago
As things are progressing my guess will be prosthetic limbs will mimic orginal equipment parts in how the work and move not so much the cool robot parts we saw i. 80s sci fi flicks i would suspect connecting controls to nerve endings is also very close.  

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