MIT scientists come up with robotic fingers to assist our hands
How about a little robotic help for performing some of everyday tasks? Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have just done that by developing a wrist-mounted device that supplements the human hand and could help with basic everyday chores. Basically, the robotic extension is just two extra fingers which can be used for grasping and thus leaving the hand to perform other duties. The device is worn around one’s wrist and the robotic fingers are positioned on either side of the user’s hand; one adjacent to the little finger and the other to the thumb.
Dubbed “Supernumerary Robotic Fingers” the device measures position of the wearer’s fingers by using data from the sensors attached to the human hand. A novel algorithm controls the output from sensors to the robotic fingers and enables it to move in sync with the wearer’s fingers to grasp objects of different shapes and sizes. According to Prof Asada, the robotic fingers work in a completely intuitive and natural way. There is no need to command the robot, but simply move your fingers naturally. Then the robotic fingers react and assist your fingers.
Till now, only a prototype of these robotic fingers has been tested but researchers are confident of exploring new possibilities in the development. They are thinking of possibilities to make it foldable, less bulky or make this into a watch or a bracelet where the fingers pop up to perform a task and then goes back into the equipment.