A group of Japanese engineers has created “MetaLimbs,” an extra set of robotic arms and hands which can be controlled with your feet.
Using your feet and knees to control the extra appendages, MetaLimb’s creators claim they will make it easier to physically multitask.
The product will also reportedly be multi-functional, allowing users to customize the robotic hands into tools and other variations according to their needs.
“Based at the University of Tokyo, researchers at the Inami Laboratory saw our limited number of limbs as a problem they could engineer a solution to,” reported News Atlas. “MetaLimbs, or Multiple Arts Interaction Metamorphism, is a set of robotic arms that reach around under your human arms and are controlled by sensors attached to your legs.”
“Positional tracking balls on the knees and feet direct the arm movement, while a sock device allows the movement of your toes to control the grasp of the robot hands,” they explained. “There are even haptic sensors on the robot hands that generate force feedback on your feet. The arms are intended to be worn while sitting, but can be used while standing depending on the task at hand.”
In a demonstration video, one man is seen typing on his laptop while also using the MetaLimbs to talk to someone on the phone, while another clip he can be seen drawing on a sheet of paper, which the artificial limbs are holding up.
The team behind MetaLimbs, which includes Keio University’s Tomoya Sasaki Keio, MHD Yamen Saraiji, Charith Lasantha Fernando, and Kouta Minamizawa, as well as Masahiko Inami from The University of Tokyo, will be displaying their creation at the SIGGRAPH2017 Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques from late July to early August.