What Could You Do With 7 Fingers?

7 finger robotic glove

A strange thought yes, but MIT researchers think an extra two digits could really make a difference in many people’s lives. And as it turns out, having an extra robotic grasp allows you to do quite a few things single handed.

The extra two fingers provide three degrees of freedom each, and are mounted off the user’s wrist. A series of position recording sensors attached to the glove provide feedback to the system in order to control the fingers naturally, just by using your hand normally.

They taught the algorithm that controls the fingers by trying to pick up different (large) items using the hand and manually positioning the fingers. What they discovered is almost every grasp could be demonstrated as a combination of only 2-3 grip patterns. 

The extra augmentation allows [Faye Wu], a graduate student working on the project, to peel a banana one handed, pick up large and bulky objects easily, pick up and stir a coffee with one hand, or even open a 2L pop bottle — again — with only one hand.

“This is a prototype, but we can shrink it down to one-third its size, and make it foldable,” Asada says. “We could make this into a watch or a bracelet where the fingers pop up, and when the job is done, they come back into the watch. Wearable robots are a way to bring the robot closer to our daily life.”

What do you think? What could you do with an extra couple digits?

[via arstechnica]


  1. cde says:

    There’s an avenue q song that will tell you what most people will do with it…

  2. tekkieneet says:

    I can use my pinky and ring fingers as a pair for holding part. Very useful to be able to solder wires or parts together while my other hand holds the soldering iron.

    • macona says:

      I do the same. Hold and position two wires with one hand and solder together with the other.

      • Nate B says:

        And I find myself holding multimeter probes like chopsticks, to probe two pins of a single connector, or one pin from each end of a cable, using my other hand to hold the ends in position.

        There’s definitely room for improvement on the dexterity side of things, we humans are limited and I’m fascinated that it took so long for someone to ask this question.

        I suppose once you’ve got the control scheme nailed down, the end-effectors could be anything:


  3. icanhazadd says:

    Looks like wrist-mounted programmable dildos.
    Take my money!

  4. lel says:

    Those puppies are just BEGGING for 4chan style shenanigans.

  5. vonskippy says:

    Seems like a very poor replacement for your other hand, so unless you’ve lost the use of one hand, I can’t see this being all that useful.

    Of course, turn those big clunky sticks into slick prehensile tentacles (and way more then just two), and they might have something useful.

  6. Rich says:

    I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going.
    Dr. Otto Octavius, the early years…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am very disappointed in Hackaday users.

    I had come to think that the people on Hackaday were above these kinds of puerile, racist comments.

    I thought you were all better than this; clearly I was wrong.

  8. asl says:

    If someone is born with extra digits most of the time they get removed… also I can do all the things in the video with one hand anyway just leave the cup on the counter, stir then pick up. :)

  9. With extra fingers I could flip the bird in new ways but I would rather have the Terminator hand.

  10. pez says:

    I could make the Shocker even more shocking .. possibly even frightening … …

  11. flownez says:

    What specifically do you mean by ‘ugly slope’?

  12. Tom says:

    Looks like clumsy chopsticks. My girlfriend just asked me if they vibrate…:-)

  13. John John says:

    Please 7 ladies?

  14. BRFX says:

    Just imagine what can be accomplished with Ten Fingers!

  15. wretch says:

    I think she nailed in at around 2:17 or so when she mentioned handicapped people. For single amputees (i.e., someone who’s lost a hand or partial or whole arm) this could be a great help in the near future because, I think, it should be easier to augment a healthy hand than it is to restore function to an amputated one.

    • Tom says:

      And it probably help a lot of people regain their independence since they won’t have to rely on help from others. Help their self esteem too.

    • Leithoa says:

      I don’t see this iteration as all that useful, if you have larger hands and some dexterity you can do all of her tasks single handed.
      The research into control algorithms and biomechanics is the far more beneficial aspect of this project. Though as her adviser pointed out: We just starting to look at the possibilities.

  16. I’d add rocket fins to the bottom of the fingers so people would be less inclined to ask rude questions….

  17. soopergooman says:

    To post my answer to the title question would garner me a ban so heavy, higgs boson would be jealous.

  18. adfv435tfg says:

    The asian girl is cute.

  19. vu2aeo says:

    Are those bend sensors capable of sensing in 3 axes each? Where can I buy some?

  20. Khai says:

    at last. a way to hold a bolt, part, washer, screwdriver… without needing a third hand or be descended from an octopus…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,672 other followers