MobiLimb Mobile Phone Robotic Finger

The MobiLimb Lets Your Smartphone Flip the Bird

Photo: Marc Teyssier

Who hasn’t looked at their phone and thought that it needed more personality. Perhaps you want your phone to be able to massage you beyond its vibrate features. Perhaps you yearn for a phone that can cosplay as Thing from The Addams Family. Whatever your insane dream in this vein, the MobiLimb looks to be the gadget that makes it a reality.

Connecting to a phone’s USB port, the MobiLimb aims to overcome “mobile device limitations by using a robotic limb.” In layman’s terms, this means that your screen based communications are no longer the only avenue for your favorite app. Created by researcher Marc Teyssier at Paris-Saclay University, the limb’s 3D printed shell hides five servo motors that give the MobiLimb a wide range of motion.

The creator’s website features several examples of the device’s functionality. You can use the finger as a stand in the same way your kid sister might use a Popsocket. You can attach a modular light to bring back memories of the Game Boy Advance and its ubiquitous Worm Light accessory. In one scenario, the finger might rub your palm after you receive a positive emoji.

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Of course, you might need to add even more realism to your phone having a disembodied finger. In that case, Marc has already designed a slipcover for the arm to make it look like a human finger. The MobiLimb is only a proof of concept at the moment, but it’s breakthroughs like this that bring us one step closer to being chased down a subway tunnel by crawling robotic facehuggers. I’ll grab the Power Loader.