Science & Technology
Humans could soon be equipped with extra robotic body parts
By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2023 · 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
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