Robotic Third Thumb UCL
UCL researchers conducted a study where their trained people to use a robotic third thumb, and they discovered that it forced their brains to adapt quickly. This meant the participants were able to effectively perform dextrous tasks, such as building a tower of blocks using their one hand, but with two thumbs). At the end, the 20 participants trained to use the thumb felt like it was actually a part of their body. Read more for a video and additional information.



The third thumb was developed by designer Dani Clode as part of an award-winning graduate project at the Royal College of Art, with the aim of changing how people view prosthetics. Instead of just replacing a lost function, this project aimed to make them an extension of the human body. Best of all, this thumb is completely 3D-printed, making it very easy to customize.

LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Building Set 51515; STEM Model Robot Toy for Creative Kids with Remote Control Model Robots; Inspiring Code and Control Edutainment Fun, New 2020 (949 Pieces)
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LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Building Set 51515; STEM Model Robot Toy for Creative Kids with Remote Control Model Robots; Inspiring Code and Control Edutainment Fun, New 2020 (949 Pieces)
  • With LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515), kids gain essential STEM skills as they build, code and play with remote-control model robots and intelligent creations that shoot missiles, play ball, drive around and more!
  • Kids build Charlie, Tricky, Blast, M.V.P. and Gelo, and take on activities and missions using the Scratch-based LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App (visit LEGO.com/devicecheck for a list of compatible devices)
  • With almost 1,000 pieces, including an intelligent Hub, 4 Medium Motors, Color Sensor and Distance Sensor with break-out interface, youngsters can also build their own fun robotic toys and share them online on LEGO Life
  • An easy-to-install rechargeable battery is included, so no need to go hunting for spare batteries when the fun’s about to start
  • Blast stands at over 14” (36cm) tall, while Gelo measures over 9” (24cm) long; The Powered Up components in this set are also compatible with the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox (17101), Droid Commander (75253) and others

Our study shows that people can quickly learn to control an augmentation device and use it for their benefit, without overthinking. We saw that while using the Third Thumb, people changed their natural hand movements, and they also reported that the robotic thumb felt like part of their own body,” said Dani Clode, Designer at UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Dani Clode Design.