Tech startup Youbionic has created a 3D printed-prosthetic that can add two extra hands to a user’s arm.
Interestingly, the device uses flex sensors on your fingers to respond to muscle movements, which will then trigger the additional arms.
You can set individual fingers to have different speeds, which in turn allow each hand move in different ways, including pinching shut.
The idea behind this tech is that it can help perform basic hand tasks like gripping an object or typing on a keyboard.
Currently, Youbionic sells the 3D-printing files for the prosthetic on its website for $244 USD (approximately $319.25 CAD) or as a fully printed wearable for $2,200 USD (approximately $2,878.48 CAD).
Verdict: Not sticky
At the moment, this tech seems to be somewhat handy (no pun intended) to hold something small if your human appendages are tied up. If someone with limited mobility can find use out of it, then that’s great, but I’m not sure how helpful it would be at this point.
Ultimately, Youbionic says it sees this tech as a foundation for helping people becoming fully “augmented humans.” I don’t know, though. The idea of 3D printing Doctor Octopus-like technological limbs is scary. I mean, did you see what he nearly did to New York in Spider-Man 2?
Looking more optimistically, though, the concept of high-tech prosthetics is great. In 2014, Youbionic launched a single-hand prosthetic, so it’s clearly making progress. Hopefully, the startup’s innovators — or others elsewhere — will come up with a way to avoid any Doc Ock-like mad scientist behaviour when designing the next iteration of these arms.
Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not in which Staff Reporter Brad Shankar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad).