Got a Minute? Why Not Learn To Operate a ‘Third Thumb’


A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge tested a new robotic third thumb, demonstrating that people of all ages could quickly learn to use it to manipulate objects. The extra robotic body part extends movement capabilities, potentially benefiting amputees or stroke patients. While control interfaces have been a challenge, recent advances are improving human-robotic interactions. The Third Thumb, controlled by pressure sensors on the wearer’s big toes, was successfully used by participants in various tasks. The study highlights the potential for motor augmentation technologies to enhance human abilities and improve quality of life, with ongoing research focusing on practical applications and ethical considerations.

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