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Wearable Robotic Device Augments Your Hand

May 18, 2016
By Jarrod Whaley

MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group has published a paper detailing a new device which takes the concept of wearable technology in an entirely new direction:

These cyborg-like devices, called Robotic Symbionts, consist of 11 motors that can detect brain signals sent to the forearm’s brachioradialis muscle and rearrange themselves to suit different tasks. Since these muscles aren’t used to move your human hand, anyone can learn to employ their Robotic Symbiont fairly quick.

While the current builds of these devices are certainly crude, it's hard to deny the enormity of what gadgets like this might mean for us in the future. Human anatomy could be easily "hacked" to add extra hands and fingers for specialists performing certain jobs—and disabled individuals would finally have access to what more or less amounts to a bionic hand like the one Luke Skywalker receives at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. The possibilities are very, very intriguing.