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Robotic third thumb, the brain learns to use it in an hour

2021-11-25T07:28:55.724Z

The experiment opens up new scenarios for the development of prostheses and robotic devices that can enhance manual skills in the industrial and aerospace fields (ANSA)



An hour is enough for our brain to learn to play the piano with 11 fingers, or even using a third robotic thumb tied to the hand: this is demonstrated by the experiment conducted by researchers at Imperial College London led by neuroscientist Aldo Faisal.

The results, published in Scientific Reports, open new scenarios for the development of prostheses and robotic devices that can enhance manual skills in the industrial and aerospace fields.


The brain learns to use the robotic third thumb in an hour (source: Imperial College London)

The study involved 12 volunteers (six pianists and six people inexperienced with the instrument) to whom a third robotic thumb was applied next to the little finger of the right hand, controlled by foot movements.

All participants were able to learn the use of the device within an hour, regardless of their musical experience: what counted was above all the ability to move and control the body, as well as dexterity and agility.

After the robotic thumb experiment, “now the question is whether we can do the same with a whole extra arm with fingers,” says Faisal.

"The current thumb control interface is quite simple, but now we are trying to control it directly with brain signals, starting from the spinal cord or other sources."

Source: ansa

All tech articles on 2021-11-25

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