Student Creates Gesture-Controlled Robotic Arm

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As any geek worth their salt can tell you, that scene in Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader slices Luke’s hand off with a lightsabre is one of the coolest scenes in the entirety of Star Wars. Even better is the realization that the Star Wars universe comes equipped with awesome robotic hands, which Luke is outfitted with at the end of the movie. We have been inching closer and closer to that reality with each passing years and it won’t be too long before that tech is as easy to install and use as that movie shows. A group of students at University of Toronto have just taken some serious steps to get us there.

Ryan Mintz and some friends recently unveiled one heck of a cool robotic arm. The arm, as it stands, isn’t connected to a human shoulder but the results are promising anyways. All one has to do to control said arm is to use simple gesture controls, and we are taking simple . You can control this robot arm by just using simple eye winks. These gestures should shrink even further with new iterations, leaving users to eventually control the arm by using the most minuscule of gestures, which would be invisible to the naked eye.

The affiliated gesture technology could have some other uses as well. The creators envision a scenario in which someone controls a wheelchair simply by winking, which sounds pretty darned useful. Of course, this tech is still in the prototype phase so it should be a while before this starts becoming attached to the Luke Skywalkers of tomorrow.