The Third Thumb


The Third Thumb investigates the relationship between the body and prosthetic technology in new ways. It is part tool, part experience, and part self-expression; a model by which we better understand human response to artificial extensions. It instigates necessary conversation about the definition of 'ability'.

The origin of the word ‘prosthesis’ meant ’to add, put onto’; so not to fix or replace, but to extend. The Third Thumb is inspired by this word origin, exploring human augmentation and aiming to reframe prosthetics as extensions of the body.

How does is work? The human thumb has a really dynamic movement, the opposing movements working together make the thumb more functional than a single finger. The Third Thumb replicates these movements by using two motors pulling against the natural tension of a flexible 3d printed material. The motors are controlled by two pressure sensors retrofitted into your shoes, under your toes, and communicate to the thumb via Bluetooth connection. The foot control is inspired by products that help to develop the already strong connection between our hands and our feet. For example driving a car, using a sewing machine, or playing a piano.

The Third Thumb aims to challenge the perception of prosthetics. By extending the body I see it creating a similar trajectory for prosthetics as glasses or plastic surgery. Creating a shift from medical device to positive body image statement. Success is widespread social engagement with The Third Thumb, from a jewellery designer, to a falcon handler, to a tattoo artist, to a toddler, the more people who experience it, the better, framing it in different functions and aesthetics. The current Third Thumb design as a starting base for a lot of future adaption of aesthetic. The value of the Third Thumb is to create a catalyst for society to consider human extension, framed in an approachable, accessible design. It is a tool, an experience, and a form of self-expression. When we start to extend our abilities, and when we reframe prosthetics as extensions, then we start to shift the focus from ‘fixing’ disability, to extending ability.

[Via Daniclodedesign]

Related Post

Is this how we’ll get around in the future? Is this the future of urban mobility? Honda Uni-cub - Is this how we going to go about our business in the city of tomorrow? Behold the Uni Cu...
The First Motorized Carry-On Bag MODOBAG is the world’s first motorized, smart and connected carry-on that gets savvy travelers, tech enthusiasts and urban day-trippers to their d...
Windows 10: Changing the Apple vs. Microsoft Dynam... By Rob Enderle Aug 3, 2015 5:00 AM PT What I find most interesting about Windows 10 is that if Apple wanted to knock Microsoft off the deskt...
Samsung’s flash drive fits 16 terabytes into a 2.5...   by Sebastian Anthony At the Flash Memory Summit in California, Samsung has unveiled what appears to be the world's largest hard drive—and...
Exoskeletons Exoskeletons have been around for decades, both in real life and in science fiction. But the latest wave of exoskeletons are advanced enough tha...
Robot Origami: Self-folds, Walks, Swims, and Degra... A team of MIT researchers have developed a printable origami robot that folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic when heated and measures abou...

One thought on “The Third Thumb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *