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Tokyo researchers hijack your hand, help you play the koto (video)

Joseph Volpe, @jrvolpe
June 26, 2011
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Researchers over in the land of the robot-obsessed have found a new, non-invasive way to control your hand while your brain recoils in horror. Reassuringly named the PossessedHand, this belt of electro-stimulation wraps its pad of twenty-eight electrodes around your forearm triggering a range of sixteen bewitched joint actions. Project leader Emi Tamaki claims it feels more like a light massage than say, a full-on Freejack. However, one test subject confessed, "[It was] like my body was hacked" -- so that's comforting. This joint production between the University of Tokyo's Rekimoto Lab and Sony Computer Science Laboratories was first tested as a musical training aide, but could someday help stroke victims regain mobility. For now, the stimulation isn't strong enough to turn you into an automated Steve Vai (or secret assassin), but it definitely lends new meaning to 'hands-off.' Check the video after the break for a demonstration and some unsettling narration.





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