The Transhumanist

Looking to extend your natural abilities? Wear the Third Thumb!

Third Thumb

Dani Clode; a grad student of the Royal College of Art in London has built a wearable object that she calls it a “third thumb“; and believes that it could be helpful for the user for squeezing lemons, play complex guitar chords, and carry more objects.

This ultimate third thumb is not limited to the people with disabilities. In fact, the third thumb is meant for all and especially for those who are willing to extend their natural abilities. The third thumb has a controllable extra digit, it is motorized, and is designed for – from anyone to everyone.

Clode created this ultimate device to put a challenge in front of the world of prosthetics– where people usually think that these are made for people with disabilities only. However, the origin of the word “prosthetics” is meant to “put onto” and not “to replace”. The concept of the Third Thumb is inspired by the origin this word with investigating human enhancement and aiming to re-evaluate prosthetics as extensions only.

The third thumb is controlled by the user’s feet via some pressure sensors that are embedded in their shoes. Close states that she chose this method to exploit existing connections between a humans’ hands and feet, which we regularly employ together while driving a car, playing piano, operating a sewing machine and more.

For copying the dynamic range of actions active movement provided by the human’s natural thumbs; she built the digit out of 3D-printed flexible plastic that is called as Ninjaflex. She also made a cover for the device that is also 3D-printed but made from a more rigid Resin. This cover slips over the hand and wrist that helps in holding the device in place. This cover is connected to the thumb in a much similar way to the brakes of a bike.

The student is originally from New Zealand and before moving to London for studying RCA. Moreover, she completed her graduation from the Victoria University of Wellington.