‘The Third Thumb’: A Quest To Extend The Human Body
A graduate at London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) created a curious 3D-printed prosthetic named ‘The Third Thumb’. As you might have guessed her invention will serve you as the thumb you never knew you needed.
Simply strap it onto the side of your hand, whilst connected to a bracelet containing wires and servos. It is controlled by the pressure sensors, placed under the soles of the feet; whilst the signals to the wrist are sent via Bluetooth. Pressing down will result in a grasping movement. Dani Clode, the inventor of ‘The Third Thumb’, says that with a bit of practice people tend to pick up the way to utilise her gadget pretty quickly.
Although some people have labelled her invention unnecessary, Dani is convinced that people need to open up to more uses of prosthetics. “The origin of the word ‘prosthesis’ meant ‘to add, put on to,’ so not to fix or replace, but to extend”. She was inspired by the idea of extending the human body as something that adds capabilities, not just replaces lost ones.
Although this is just a prototype, this opens up a debate and a window of opportunity for how human bodies can get artificially developed. Only time will tell, but I am excited to see what the future of prosthetics holds for us!