Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

What if i dont need a prothesis replacement arm, but i want and additional third or fourth arm wearable in the form of a “backpack with arms”

How can i get one, and how expensive (medically and financially) will my additional sets of arms be?

Try looking for "third thumb". A DIY project where a guy got input from a toe to control a motorized second "thumb" on a hand. AFAIK no one ever made a project of it ... but ones feet are a vastly under utilized resource and could be re purposed quite readily. Eg why not control a virtual twiddler? Or indeed a "hand prosthetic".

I think a foot interface would be awesome for bulk operations like scrolling/panning/zooming. Think of a trackball but like a medicine ball that is heavy and carries some momentum. Pedals too i guess, but i like the big heavy ball idea. Probably be great for your feet too.

Probably not with this tech. This tech is integrating with your nerves and slowly training it to interpret signals from your brain, and I think vice versa. That won’t ever apply to casually worn appendages.

So what could be done? Probably an indirect method would work better. Use existing motor controls (maybe finger gestures?) and an eye tracker to direct your doctor octopus arms (for which power and weight will be primary concerns).

We won’t get sensory feedback properly, but you might imagine having a single external device which channels some sort of sensory trick to 80/20 it.

When will this arrive? Wearable arms probably don’t have a market, but the control scheme and sensory feedback are going to be top of mind for VR / AR hardware devs I would think

I believe brain is fully capable to adapt to a one more hand or two. Maybe even sentient hands. All you need is to place electrodes into brain itself. Or maybe somewhere in a brainstem, I'm not an expert in this things, but I think it is possible.

It would be nice, I would be able to type on keyboard and drink tea with cookies without stopping. But there is mouse here... So I need three additional arms. Not like mine, with less strength but with thinnier fingers and a finer precision. If it possible then without a tremor. And an eye on each palm, for I could to see things really closely.

We can put electrodes in the brain to do this, but they move around too much and will eventually destroy the brain tissue.

The movement isn’t the issue, they’re well secured. The problem is that the electrodes are slowly attacked by immune responses and over time the tissue around it becomes sclerotic, and the electrodes stop working. Various potential solutions are being explored, such as growing specialized neurons with extremely long axons to use as the final interface. It’s still an unsolved problem through.

I wonder whether the immune system would learn that the electrode is not something to attack if you implant it prenatally, or shortly after birth.

I don’t know if the immune system could be trained that way, but it’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately one issue I can think of is that the same period you describe is both formative for the immune system (good for our purposes) and also the period of rapid growth of the brain (not so good). Even if the immune system could be trained during that time, the electrodes would still move relative to their intended targets.

There’s also the issue a lot of these surgeries involve feedback from a conscious patient, and that’s obviously impossible with a newborn.

So there is an /r/writingPrompts if ive ever heard one: “prenatal cyber implants augmented your abilities - but have stunted your Humanity in what ways?”

There was a TED talk about it. The team created a vest giving blind people a tactile feedback to their back. Another use case was to give people additional "senses" for them to be able to control some devices - drone, or maybe arms if you will. It was back in 2015, I am not sure what the progress is now. https://www.ted.com/talks/david_eagleman_can_we_create_new_s...

> How can i get one

Patience and/or time travel

> how expensive (medically and financially) will my additional sets of arms be?

You may find your preexisting thoughts and desires overruled by the machine's, which mostly consist of a burning desire to kill Spider-Man.

You might be interested in https://youtu.be/sKjAp0iZ7dc

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact