Humans will learn to use high-tech third arm within a generation, scientists say | The Sun

HUMANS will learn to use add-on limbs — such as a third arm — within a generation, scientists say.

A high-tech tentacle that could give us extra grabbing powers, like Spider-Man villain Dr Octopus, is being worked on by Cambridge University boffins.

It would be strapped on to the body and controlled by small movements in the user’s natural arms and legs.

Professor Tamar Makin, at Cambridge, said the brain has an “extraordinary” ability to adapt to new body parts.

 She believes adding limbs — known as “augmentation” — could be normal in the next 20 to 30 years.

Prof Makin added: “The technologies are already out there. There are issues to deal with — for example, you want it to be comfortable — but control is the real issue.”


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Real-world tech would start smaller and help with daily tasks, such as drinking a cup of coffee.

A study has already proved that people can adapt to having an extra thumb controlled by sensors on their feet.

In trials, also by Cambridge University, 20 people learned to use the third thumb with just five days’ training.

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Brain scans showed nerve connections quickly adapted to the added digit. Tests saw them pick up balls or wine glasses with it — even while blindfolded.

Scientists in Italy are also working on an extra arm which would be fixed to the waist and controlled by breathing.

Prof Makin added: “Evolution has not prepared us to use an extra body part — the brain will need to adapt.”

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