Youbionic gives augmented humans a helping hand, or two
In development since 2014, Youbionic started taking pre-orders for its 3D-printed robotic hand early last year. The company recently launched a new improved version, but hasn't stopped there. Looking to a near future where robotic enhancements make for improved humans, a bizarre two-handed prosthetic has been developed and gone up for sale.
Like Youbionic's new single robotic hand, the double hands are controlled by flex sensors on the human operator's fingers, in this case on the index and third fingers. The odd-looking setup is supported by a mounting plate, upon which the hands angle out in a tight V shape. Six Actuonix actuators on each linked hand run through open and close sequences when a user moves a finger.
The demo video released by the company (above) only shows grip or pinch actions, where the all the hand's fingers and thumb move when the human finger is flexed – not individual digits. There's no object grabbing, grasping or holding, though presumably users can program the Arduino microcontroller at the heart of the Double Hand to perform custom tasks and add more flex sensors to the setup as required.
Without such user customization, practical uses for the Double Hand as shown might be in short supply, unless your cosplay outfit needs a little extra something to make it pop. The new Youbionic wearable robotic hand is priced at €899 (US$1,080), while the double hand comes in at €1,799.
Product page: Double Hand