The 3D-printed hands are powered by Arduino, and come mounted on a sort of gauntlet worn by the operator. By moving individual fingers at different speeds, the user can control each robotic hand separately, making its fingers curl up into a fist or stretch out. This is achieved using mounted flex sensors to identify movements and translate them into actions. Due to the fact that you’re operating two hands with one, it’s not an exact case of mirroring movement, but rather learning a series of new gestures, just as you would in order to learn how to operate a new smartphone.
“This device is the first prototype, and exists to build the foundations for a future in which machines and humans will be fused together,” YouBionic founder Federico Ciccarese told Digital Trends. “The merger has already started in software, thanks to the likes of Oculus Rift or Magic Leap. But there will come a day when digital will no longer be enough, and we need to evolve with specific devices that act in the three-dimensional world. In the work I’m doing, I often wonder if our brain could potentially deal with and manage more information than is needed to move our bodies — for example, handling four arms instead of two. This is just one small example of augmenting human capabilities in this way, showing how we can improve even our native functions.”
One day, Ciccarese imagines that similar technology will either be used to help increase productivity here on Earth, or potentially to carry out telepresence robots which can be operated remotely from afar — even on other planets. For the meantime, however, if you want to get hold of your very own Double Hand prosthesis you can buy one direct from YouBionic for $2,100, or just $58 for the wrist support’s digital files.