MIT researchers give us the finger (two of them)


I’m not sure that it’s quite ready to throw the queen alien out the airlock; but I understand that R&D is an iterative process…

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Next from MIT: the fing-longer.


I dunno I think I can do most of that stuff without robot fingers. Also, I wish they would stop building goddam Terminator.

To be honest? That looks like some nightmare sex-toy.

Think am being trolled.

I doubt I could ever use something like that. I have this fear from my childhood that if I had a sixth finger, I’d be relentlessly pursued by a Spaniard who insisted I killed his father.

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From the looks of it, it adds an independent pair of “pincers” to your full complement of fingers, which basically can achieve the same thing as using one hand as a grabber, and the other hand for finer manipulations.

It seems a lot less useful than if there were actual “fingers” with joints in them that allow curling motion. These things are like a strong set of chopsticks positioned on your forearm that you can use to grab and hold something securely while you use the same hand this thing is attached to for the detail work.

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Been there.

This would be the missing bit of the powered exoskeletons that appeared recently in Elysium and End of Tomorrow, where wearing a powered exoskeleton gives a normal human the ability to hold giant objects and swing them around with great force without snapping one’s hand right off at the wrist.

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If you watch 'til the end, they remind you that some people only have one hand.


As a technician who has chronic lack of hands (two are never enough) I am thinking… could some such prosthetic approaches be used for adding more directly (or for the beginning indirectly) controlled limbs?

And yes, I admit a degree of a Doc Oc envy.

Man, I wish they’d hurry up and build Terminator. I wanna install my brain in one. Meatbodies are so passe.

You nerds always think it would be utopia to be robots. You don’t realize that when you’re three years old you’ll be obsolete, and when you’re ten they quit making spare parts. At least my meat is good for a few decades.

The webcomic Freefall has an interesting spin on sapient robots. It brings up interesting points, like robots having trouble operating in a vaccuum because of cooling issues.

The current sequence is about AI rights.

That’s why we have to have the right (and ability) to make our own spare parts.

I saw somewhere a beautiful machine that unified 3d printing and precision machining in one. One toolhead was depositing and laser-melting metal powder, other toolheads were conventional mills and drills and taps. The workpiece was on a 5-DOF mount. The metal was deposited layer by layer to what amounted as near-net casting, then the small excess amount was milled away. Result, a beautifully accurate part.

Edit: Ability first. The ability makes the right.

Man, I replace my computer every three years at the outside, and often upgrade it a couple of times in there. No one would stand for a cyberbody that couldn’t be upgraded and hotswapped.

Upgrade all you want man, I’ve never seen a 90 year old computer.



Oh isn’t that thing cool? I want one. But I don’t want to be uploaded into it.