Prototype Robotic Fingers from MIT

MIT is showing off a robotic hand extension. Worn like a glove, the prototype is not intended as a prosthesis so much as an enhancement: Instead of replacing lost fingers, it gives the wearer two long, flexible prongs that act as stronger additional fingers.

The current version is both bulky and awkward, but Harry Asada, the Ford Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, says in a press release, “This is a prototype, but we can shrink it down to one-third its size, and make it foldable. 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.”

Yup, folks, it took no less than MIT to figure out how arthritis sufferers could open child-proof caps.