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MetaLimbs gives you extra arms

Japanese scientists have created a robot which gives the wearer extra limbs.

MetaLimbs - created by researchers at the Inami Laboratory at the University of Tokyo - aims to help people complete the jobs where more than two hands are needed.

Writing about the idea on their website, they shared: "We propose 'MetaLimbs' is a prototype exploring a research question, 'How we can edit or design our body?'.

"The system is constructed by robotic arms/hands which are mounted on a user and motion tracking which uses socks type sensor device and optical motion trackers, it can modulate from user's legs/feet movement and posture to the motion of robotic arms/hands.

"User's body perception and schema will be changed or augmented by multiple limb interactions."

The arms work by placing positional tracking balls on the knees and feet of the user so they can control the movements whilst a device on the person's toes allows them to control the robot's grabbing motion. Sensors on the robot hands also allow you to control the strength of the grip using your feet.

Tomoya Sasaki, who lead the project, added: "Our scientific motivation for this project was to explore how additional artificial limbs would affect body perception, especially which configurations would make a user perceive physical alterations of his or her body as part of itself, and how our abilities and activities could be enhanced by the use of such body augmentations. MetaLimbs is a proof-of-concept prototype that explores these questions ...

"In the industrial environment, workers could be more efficient or simply safer in manipulating dangerous or heavy loads. Or in a very different field, the entertainment industry, MetaLimbs could be used to create and implement novel artistic performances. The possibilities are endless. A market-ready implementation would probably first increase the capabilities of professionals in their daily jobs."

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