Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Cambridge researchers have tested a robotic sixth finger

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun4,2024

Researchers from Cambridge tested a robotic sixth finger

Researchers from Cambridge tested a robotic sixth finger on different groups of users. Scientists have noted that people quickly adapt to an additional finger and easily find a use for it.

The artificial finger is attached to the opposite side of the hand from the thumb. The device is moved by a pressure sensor, which is most often placed under the leg. The force of compression of the robotic finger is proportional to the force of pressure on the sensor. 

In 2022, the developers tested the device at the annual scientific exhibition of the Royal Society. During five days, 596 participants aged from 3 to 96 took part in the experiment. Of all the participants, only four were unable to use the extra finger. It was with technical problems. For example, the device did not fit tightly to the hand or the pressure sensor was triggered, which was not adapted for light children.

During the experiment, each participant was given one minute to familiarize himself with the device, and then asked to perform two tasks. In the first one, it was necessary to move as many special pegs as possible into the basket in 60 seconds, using only an extra finger. 333 participants coped with this task. In the second task, biological fingers could also be used to move objects of different shapes and sizes — at most in a minute. 246 participants coped with the task.

It took no more than a minute to get used to the artificial finger. After that, the participants could skillfully manipulate the objects. Only children under the age of 10 did poorly.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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