This robotic arm would prove very useful for those who like to work more hours and n many things at the same time. Manytimes you feel if there is an extra arm it will be so helpful. I remember my child asking me why cant you have few extra arms so you can finish all the work fast.
I think this will open up a new are of research which studies how we apply mechanical force, sort of 'touch recognition' like gesture recognization. I think this could be important to future developments in robotics?
Larry, I sent the author your comment about haptic feedback to keep from crushing the cup and he said at this stage that is just one of many many concerns to research. In his words: "We are working on multifaceted control and communication issues. Reflex is one important issue. We are still In an early stage. Wearing extra limbs poses a lot of fundamental issues for long lasting research interest."
It seems like ideally there should be a dual feedback loop in this. Are they working on sense feedback from the robotic digits to the human as well as force control of the robotics by the human? I am thinking of cases where I am holding a soft-drink cup when the seal on the lid pops and the cup collapses. Human reflexes can (sometimes) detect this quickly enough to tighten the grip and catch the cup before it gets dropped.
hm wrote: Human wrist has only four fingers and thumb.
Unless you're the evil Count Rugen. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You keel' my father. Prepare to die!"
Seriously, isn't it called the Wrist-Robot because it's attached to your wrist? Besides, my fingers aren't attached directly to my wrist: finger-bones connected to the hand-bone, hand-bone connected to the wrist-bone, wrist-bone connected to the arm bone, etc.
My first thought was that this could be very useful for people who have only one healthy hand in order to make their daily life easier. But for that purpose it should be also possible to put the device on or to remove it easily with only one hand without support. Maybe this could be the next step.