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Double Bionic Hands Aim to Prove That Four Hands Are Better Than Two

Bionic limbs used to be restricted to the realm of fiction, but the technology, first released in 1993, has been making massive leaps in the past few years. Now, one Italian Robotics company called Youbionic has taken the next significant leap forward by releasing a 3D printed and customizable bionic appendage consisting of two robotic hands.

The 3D printed device, designed by Federico Ciccarese, is made from nylon dust and consists of an Arduino micro-controller, actuators, and three electrodes that are activated by nerve impulses in the same way that muscles move when neurons send signals from our brains.

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Swedish Tech Company Implants Microchips in Employees’ Bodies to Make Their Lives Easier

Epicenter, a technology startup hub in Stockholm, Sweden, has been offering employees the chance to have a small microchip implanted in their hand, ever since 2015. So far, 150 of its 3,000-strong staff have taken bosses up on their offer, and they couldn’t be happier with their decision.

Implantable microchips the size of a grain of rice have been around for a while now, but they are usually used as virtual identification plates for pets, or as tracking devices for deliveries. Up until a couple of years ago, when Epicenter started offering its employees the chance to have them implanted into their hands, these tiny devices had never been used to tag humans on a large scale. For many people, having a chip inserted into their body sounds like something out of a dystopian future, or, at the very least, raises privacy questions, but the 150 Epicenter employees who have had them implanted say the technology just makes their life easier.

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This Bionic Arm Prototype Comes with a Phone Charger, Torch and Even a Drone

Four years ago, when London resident James Young suffered a freak accident that left him with an “ugly- peach-colored and obvious” prosthetic arm and leg, little did he know that he would soon become ‘part cyborg’ in a one-of-a-kind experiment that would give him a prototype bionic arm. His new, futuristic-looking arm feels realistic, and in some ways is even better than a real one. It comes equipped with several cool features like a torch, a USB port, a laser light, and even a drone!

James’s life would never be the same after that fateful day in May 2012, when he was about to board a Docklands Light Railway train in East London. He happened to be walking too close to the platform when he extended his arm to push the button to open the doors, and the momentum of the moving train made him spin and lose balance. He slipped and fell between two carriages. James has no memory of the incident, but he’s been able to piece everything together using CCTV footage.

“My friends looked round and couldn’t see me,” he said. “The train stopped and my friends got on it and pulled the alarm. Two men helped them to look for me. The guy who found me, David Kelly, climbed under the train and talked to me to keep me conscious.” James was then airlifted to the Royal London Hospital where he was kept in an induced coma for 12 days. His left arm was badly damaged, while his left leg was severed below the knee during the accident. Eventually, surgeons were forced to amputate his arm as well, and perform 12 other operations to rebuild his badly damaged face and body.

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Self-Described Cyborg Can Sense Every Earthquake in the World

Meet Moon Ribas, a ‘cyborg artist’ who is able to literally feel every single earthquake that takes place anywhere on the planet. She senses the tremors through a tiny sensor permanently grafted under her skin near the crook of her elbow, and dances to these vibrations during her performances.

“I want to perceive movement in a deeper way,” Ribas said. “The planet moves, constantly shaking and moving every day. I thought it would be amazing to translate the massive and natural movements of the planet in a different way.” So she had a tiny magnet implanted near the crook of her elbow that allows her to feel the Earth’s vibrations in real time. Her choice of body hacking may not be as obvious as the antenna sticking out of the skull of Neil Harbisson, or these LED lights implanted under the skin, but its purpose is just as bizarre.

Ribas, a choreographer who studied movement at Dartington College in the UK, described the physical sensation near her elbow as being similar to having a phone vibrate in your pocket. Of course, the stronger the earthquake, the stronger the vibrations she feels. For instance, during the devastating 7.8 quake in Nepal last year, Ribas woke up in the middle of the night with strong vibrations coursing through her arm. “It felt very weird, like I was there,” she said. “I feel connected to the people who suffer through an earthquake.”

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Music Anywhere – Guy Implants Headphone in His Ear

If you find headphones uncomfortable, or if you’re sick of always having to untangle their wires, you might want to take a cue from Rich Lee, a body-enhancement enthusiast who recently implanted a small magnet headphone directly into his ear.

Rich Lee is what’s known as a “bodyhacker” or “grinder”, a person who experiments with surgical implants or technological body-enhancements in order to expand human capacities. He was recently featured on Humanity+, a technology and science-focused magazine, for a unique type of implant. Lee had a small magnet embedded into his tragus, the small piece of cartilage directly outside the ear, and built a coil to be worn around the neck, which “creates a magnetic field causing the implant to vibrate and produce sound”. The audio quality is nowhere near as good as what you get from regular earbuds or headphones, but his system does have a series of advantages. He can listen to music anytime and anywhere he wants, and since the implant is invisible to the naked eye, he can do some pretty creative things with it. For example, he plans to hook it up to a directional microphone so he can hear what people around him are saying, and he argues it could come in-handy at a poker table or with pre-screen business clients.

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