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brian matthews third arm Robotic Third Arm With Shoulder Harness

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Brian Matthews is an LA-based machine artist and performer who makes beautifully intricate mechanical accessories, jewelry, and “costume prosthetics” with a tasteful steampunk aesthetic. His notable works to date include a number of gorgeous flapping-wing harnesses as well as Francis, a “hand puppet” (in perhaps the most literal sense) that appears to stand on the back of the operator’s hand and is manipulated through rods linked to the joints of his or her fingers.

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Matthews has been appearing and performing with Francis at Maker Faire Bay Area since 2012, and will be expanding his act this year by wearing both the puppet and his recently constructed robotic “third arm” (shown above). It’s built from junk, driven by high-power servos, and controlled by an Arduino programmed to execute various movements and gestures. “I like to inspire folks to build,” Matthews writes, “by showing them dreams that become real through junk assembly.”

Check out more of his work at the Flapping Sprocket studio website.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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