Geek has a post up about a crazy new prototype out of MIT.
Bionics, the field dedicated to replacing lost body parts with mechanical versions, is bleeding edge in absolutely every way, but could it still be setting our sights too low? After all, if we can control mechanical limbs with our mind, why limit ourselves to just replacing lost natural ability? Why not add to that ability outright? That field is called “supernumerary” robotics, going beyond the numbers and abilities we get at birth. At a robotics show recently held in Hong Kong, a team from MIT showed off some of its best creations in this line. A shoulder-mounted helper robot reminiscent of the cyborg arms from Spider-Man’s Doctor Octopus ended up stealing the show.
It should be noted that these arms make their own decisions about how to best help their user, rather than responding to physical or mental control. The “real” Doctor Octopus controlled his robot arms via their fusion with his spine — but we now know he would have been better off sending commands straight from the brain. Regardless, these MIT limbs actually watch what you’re doing with your biological arms and try to figure out what you need from them — they will help hold an object over your head for work above, or try to push open a door so you can get through with a large box in your arms.