Robotics

Youbionic gives augmented humans a helping hand, or two

Youbionic gives augmented huma...
The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
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Breadboard circuitry of the Double Hand, with an Arduino microcontroller at its heart
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Breadboard circuitry of the Double Hand, with an Arduino microcontroller at its heart
The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors attached to the operator's fingers
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The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors attached to the operator's fingers
The 3D-printed support onto which the Double Hands are mounted
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The 3D-printed support onto which the Double Hands are mounted
The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
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The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
The recently launched single Youbionic robot hand
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The recently launched single Youbionic robot hand
The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
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The Double Hand has been created to "turn the Native Human to Augmented Human"
The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors attached to the operator's fingers
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The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors attached to the operator's fingers
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
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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 Double Hand is strapped to an operator's arm
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The Double Hand is strapped to an operator's arm
Six Actuonix actuators on each linked hand run through open and close sequences when a user moves a finger
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Six Actuonix actuators on each linked hand run through open and close sequences when a user moves a finger
The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors
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The Double Hand is controlled by flex sensors

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.

Augmented Human

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

2 comments
PAV
I don't get it. What would you use this for? How come the thumb is not sensored. Why did he not close both at the same time? Why do you have the annoying drumming going on in this video?
ljaques
Wow, for all its lack of functionality, I'd expect to see a $100 clone from China within a month. What could they be charging $1,100 or $2,200 for? BTW, what is the augment? I see nothing in the video (do hear incessant drumming) but a hand which works at 1/100th of the speed of a human hand with none of the dexterity, flexibility, or strength a human hand possesses. Similar linear actuators pull from 2-10 pounds, but configured into a finger grip, probably have 1/4 of that grasp, so these things seem impractical, in addition to being extremely expensive. I just don't get it. They may have nudged the 1 percent point on making a robotic hand, but there's a heck of a lot of distance they have to travel to be of any value.