MIT Wrist-Robot Adds Extra Fingers

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ever try to get the lid off a jar with one hand, or open an envelope, or 1,000 other two-handed tasks? Well now you can, that is if you are wearing the new wrist-robot from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Still in the prototype stage, the wearable robot nevertheless offers a new paradigm in assistive robotics called “synergism.”

“It is well known that the motion of the human hand is controlled by synergy — which is the idea that groups of muscles are activated together by a single control signal,” said MIT doctoral candidate Faye Wu in a video about her presentation this week at Robotics: “Science and Systems 2014” (July 22 through July 24 in Berkeley, Calif.) “We want to extend the synergy-based control to wearable robots.”

To do so, the wrist-worn robot has a glove attached that measures the angle and orientation of each finger, then passes a control signal to the extra fingers to react synergistically. For instance, if a large object is being picked up, the normal fingers only need grasp its top while the longer robotic fingers grab its bottom portion.

For the full story, see EBN sister site EE Times.

— R. Colin Johnson is the Advanced Technology Editor of EE Times.

5 comments on “MIT Wrist-Robot Adds Extra Fingers

  1. prabhakar_deosthali
    July 23, 2014

    This a good contraption that MIT has developed.  Among many, it has much usability for the one handed people or  people with partial paralysis.

    The problem seems to be , for physically challenged people how to put it on on your wrist, because that will require use of other hand.

  2. Ashu001
    July 26, 2014


    I have seen many Senior Citizens who have limited Mobility.

    This device can definitely help them go about their day to day jobs better.


  3. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 26, 2014

    @prabhakar: The device may not suit for every physically challenged person. And those who can't put it on by themselves can still get help from their care takers.

  4. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 26, 2014

    @tech4people: Interesting technology indeed. This kind of device will help improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

  5. Ashu001
    July 28, 2014


    As with any other Tech on the planet the Possibilities both for Good and Evil(apply your Sci-Fi Mind) are endless.

    Lets see how things pan out in this Revolutionary space going ahead.


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