First it was an extra set of shoulder-mounted robot arms, but now MIT feels that humanity could also benefit from a couple of extra robotic fingers on each hand. Faye Wu and other researchers at the school have been developing SR — or supernumerary robotic — fingers that work alongside your existing digits to make countless tasks easier to handle.
The concept's a little freaky, but seeing the fingers in action as they enhance the grip of a user's hand certainly helps sell the concept. The extra fingers take their cues from sensors embedded into a glove, and make coordinated movements with the rest of the fingers on the hand with equal amounts of grip and force. But forget making it easier to stir your morning coffee — imagine how fast one could text on a smartphone with four extra computer-controlled thumbs at their disposal.