We have all been in a place where having a third or even fourth hand would come in handy. Our human hands can only hold so much which leads us to hold things lets say very creatively. For us humans our only hope is a pair of robotic hands and we may be very close to having that be a reality.

Not One but Two Extra Robotic Hands?

A robot has been designed by Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design and the University of Tokyo in Japan. It works as part of a Fusion backpack with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and touch controllers used to move the limbs. The limbs are controlled by someone else but the headset allows them to see things from the user’s perspective via the Internet so that person could be potentially anywhere in the world. The robot has a camera system that would be situated on the backpack and next to the wearer’s but with a clear field of vision.

The arms can move freely or they can attach to the wearer’s arms and have enough strength to move the real flesh and blood arms around. So far the issues have been minor but there are some to work out. There has been a bit of lag coming from the remote operator to the backpack. It has also taken some getting used to for both the operator and for the wearer but as a telepresence device it has clear potential.

Useful for Teaching and Saving Lives

For anyone who works with multiple tools on a job just having a set of extra hands to hold something will be great, if just to not worry about misplacing a tool or having it roll away. The next step could be that the virtual reality operator uses the arms to do some of the work as well and that could eventually give way to AI control in the future. This system could also work well for students or apprentices learning new jobs as a more seasoned individual can use the arms to guide them. It could be great for anything from manufacturing jobs to surgeons. Just imagine a doctor in a remote part of the world being able to perform a complex surgery that would be beyond their skill set by allowing their arms to be used by a more skilled surgeon thousands of miles away.

Of course it could be used for much more mundane things as well. Bored and want to play a game but no one is around? While the Internet is great for something like this, these robots could take it to a whole new level. It seems like there could be an application for a device like this for almost anything. Just don’t be Howard from the Big Bang Theory. You know someone will try it (and probably take it further) and the embarrassment will be just as real.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top