Albeit our body is capable of doing complex tasks, sometimes we face problem while doing our day to day task because of our physical limitations. It’s so frustrating when you have to open the door while both of your hands are blocked. What if you can have a pair of robotic arms, which you can control by your feet? A team at the Inami Hiyama Laboratory just created something like that. Named MetaLimbs, it’s a device that can operate two robotic arms worn behind your body.
Limbs controlled by your legs
The MetaLimbs project may sound silly but quite polished. Its artificial limbs are mapped to your legs and controlled by the movement of your feet. The system consists of two main parts – mounted robotic arm system and a positional tracking system.
The tracking system comes with optical tracking markers attached to your knees and toes, which helps measure the position and rotation movement of the robotic arms created by the tracked information. You need to wear a sock device that will detect the position of the toes. This sock device comes with two bending sensors that measure the movement of the toes. The combination of these components can manipulate the robotic arms; means squeezing toes lets your robotic hands make fists.
More limbs mean you are now able to do more tasks at the same time. You can work on your laptop while you can receive phone calls or hold your coffee cup with your artificial limbs. Also, these artificial limbs can be customized, means you can actually put something else instead of your arm for some specific situation. Although you’re supposed to use these artificial arms while sitting, you can also wear them while standing under certain conditions.
The MetaLimbs project will be showcased at the Siggraph 2017 Emerging Technologies Showcase. However, while we’ve already got mind-controlled or fully autonomous prosthetic arms on the horizon, it’s uncertain whether this leg-controlled device may have a big future or not.