"Extra machine joints integrated to our biological body may allow us to achieve additional skills," they wrote in a recent paper. "We demonstrate a desirable human-machine synergy that enhances our innate capabilities."
Wearable Robot Arms Are Here To Help
Wrist-worn robotic joints become extra fingers, allowing the wearer to perform what the researchers call tri-manual tasks. In addition to lifting a bucket that weighs about 2.2 pounds, the device can offer passive support for one-hand note-taking, and function like a joystick for a computer screen. The researchers think it could eventually be used to turn the pages of a book, and give musicians new ways to jam.
Leigh and Maes presented the robotic joint last week at CHI 2016, where they received an honorable mention for best paper.
Third Robotic Arm Drums Like a Pro
An extra wrist-worn robotic gripper could come in handy, especially for shopping that started out with a basket and escalated to a cart-worthy load. I also imagine it being helpful for people with numbness or arthritis, although the cuff would probably need more padding.
The Fluid Interfaces Group researchers say online that they envision a machine-driven evolution of the human body. Their invention points to a super-human future.