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This robotic third thumb could be handy

Future Tech: Plus…a futuristic sideways elevator & 3D human clones.

A new prosthetic designed to be an extension of the body

Prosthetic third thumb

From Popular Mechanics:

Royal College of Art graduate Dani Clode has created what she calls a Third Thumb. And while most prosthetics are meant for medical purposes, that's not what Clode is going for. She doesn't want to replace any of your current thumbs, but rather add one on next to your pinkie finger. Clode tells Deezen:

"I came across the origin of the word prosthesis and found that it meant 'in addition to.' This inspired me to reframe prosthetics as extensions, rather than anything that 'fixes' or 'replaces.'"

The Third Thumb fits on a hand like a glove. It's driven by two small motors — one activates the third thumb through the feet. Push on sensors attached to your toes and, via Bluetooth, it tells the thumb to expand or contract. The thumb itself is 3D-printed and made out of the flexible plastic filament Ninjaflex. "These parts are all connected via a bowden cable system," Cole says on her website, "similar to a bike brake, made of teflon tubing and wire."

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Take a ride in this sideways elevator

Futuristic elevator moves sideways

From Wired:

People laughed when ThyssenKrupp, a company synonymous with elevators, announced it was developing one that goes every which way. Who'd ever heard of such a thing? Everyone knows elevators go just two directions: up and down. Some took to calling it the Wonkavator, after Willy Wonka’s wacky lift that goes sideways, slantways, and longways.

"There were some doubts," company CEO Patrick Bass says with just a bit of understatement.

Put aside your doubts. After three years of work, the company is testing the Multi in a German tower and finalizing the safety certification. This crazy contraption zooms up, down, left, right, and diagonally. ThyssenKrupp just sold the first Multi to a residential building under construction in Berlin, and expects to sell them to other developers soon.

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Turn yourself into digital 3D

Copypod turns humans into 3D

From Engadget:

Copying yourself digitally is not easy. Ideally, you want multiple photos taken from every angle at the same moment with all-around, soft illumination. A company called People's Industrial Design Office in Beijing, China has created something called the 3D Copypod that can do all that for you in one neat package. It's based on the "Hoberman sphere," a type of geodesic dome that can fold down to a much smaller size thanks to its scissor-like joints.

"Objects are surrounded by a spherical array of over one hundred fixed focal length DSLR cameras," the architectural and design firm explains. "With minimal adjustment, the 3D Copypod can contract to scan small objects and expand large enough to scan a group of people." Furthermore, the folding panels are lit from the inside "to ensure a shadowless photography environment."

The 3D Copypod allows users to construct digital models using the photo data, which can be used to make high-resolution 3D prints, the company says. People's Industrial didn't specify what kind of software it used to stitch the photos and convert them to a model, but given the number of cameras, it should be able to produce very accurate and high-res results.

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The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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