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Working, Prosthetic “Third Thumb” Paves the Way for a Real-Life Dr. Octopus

Working, Prosthetic “Third Thumb” Paves the Way for a Real-Life Dr. Octopus

Prosthetic limbs and appendages are generally made to replace natural ones that have either been lost, or through a quirk of birth were never there in the first place. But there’s no reason that should forever stay their sole purpose. There has probably been some point in your life where you thought you didn’t have enough hands to carry everything, for example, or enough legs to support your body weight after a long day.

Royal College of Art grad student Dani Clode thinks prosthetics could conceivably enhance all of us, and as such has developed an extra mechanical thumb, to give your hand extra gripping and holding abilities. As seen via The Verge, it utilizes pressure points in your shoes, combined with Bluetooth signals, to control the grasping motion. The immediate benefits to card players, waiters, and musicians are showcased among others in the video below:

Now, some of you may rightly point out that in comics and movies, this kind of thing often goes badly. Dr. Otto Octavius wanted extra limbs, and they fused to his body and turned him evil. But really, at least in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man telling, the solution was obvious: don’t give the bonus limbs artificial intelligence that can only be overridden by an easily destroyable safety switch. If you prefer the comics, just keep your extra thumb away from any radiation leaks.

We are not responsible if you choose super-villainy of your own accord and decide to dub yourself “Professor Thumb-thing.” But with the extra digit, you might want to avoid killing the father of anyone named Inigo Montoya.

Is a third thumb inconceivable? The right finger? Point out your ideas in comments.

Image: Dani Clode

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