Scientists believe that people will soon have wings, tentacles or a third hand: this will be the result of a leap in human development - ForumDaily
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Scientists believe that soon people will have wings, tentacles or a third hand: this will be the result of a leap in human development

Experts predict that in the next few decades, people may get wings, tentacles or an extra arm thanks to a leap in human development. The edition told in more detail Daily Mail.

Photo: IStock

Researchers have already developed a foot-controlled "third thumb" that allows the wearer to unscrew a bottle, peel a banana, or thread a needle with one hand.

Experts now believe that the thumb is just the first step towards larger and more impressive additions to the human body.

Tamar Makin, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, said the brain's ability to adapt to an extra limb was "extraordinary."

But scaling designs to larger devices comes with hurdles.

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"The big question is how do you control a body part that you've never had before?" - she said.

“When we work with replacement technologies such as prosthetic limbs, the goal is quite simple. But I want us to continue to use our body to its full capacity and additionally the additional body part. We also worry about what we call the resource reallocation problem—what if I’m stealing resources from my feet to put them in my hands?” - Makin noted.

When asked if it was possible to develop wings or even tentacles for human use, she replied: “Yes, from a technical point of view. The technology exists, we just need to scale it. There are technological issues that need to be addressed, like you want them to be comfortable, not heavy. Control is the real problem. So the wings are actually very simple, because they have only one degree of control - up and down.

“But when you need to make something more complex, like a tentacle, you need a lot of control. For example, if you want to reach a cup of coffee because it is far away, you need to use your tentacle, says the professor. “You really have to concentrate because it’s a difficult task, it’s less costly to just get up.”

Her colleague Dani Claude was the author of the Third Thumb project, first presented in 2017.

A 3D printed robotic finger is placed on the side of the hand opposite the thumb.

The wearer controls it with pressure sensors attached to his feet, on the underside of his big toes, with a wireless connection linking them.

In their study, 20 participants were trained to use their thumb for five days, such as using it to lift several balls or a glass of wine with one hand.

They very quickly mastered the basics of working with the finger and could even use it blindfolded or distracted.

In a paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the team reported that participants increasingly felt that the finger was part of their own body.

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Before and after training, the researchers scanned the brains of the participants. They found subtle but important changes in the organization of neural circuits that light up when we use our hands.

The professor says: "Evolution did not prepare us to use an additional body part, and we found that in order to expand our abilities in new and unexpected ways, the brain needs to adapt the representation of the biological body."

Claude has developed a robotic, writhing tentacle that acts like a prosthetic arm.

Called Vine 2.0, it has 26 individual vertebrae that are controlled by the user using pressure sensors and electronics in the shoe.

Silvestro Michera of the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa is working on a third arm that attaches to the body around the waist and is controlled by the breath.

The researchers will discuss their achievements at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

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