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 it. 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.