Meet Arque – A Robotic Tail For Humans To Improve Balance And Agility

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Most wearables are subtle and relatively understated such as fitness bands and smartwatches. But there are devices that have the ability to leave a great impact on the lives of the wearers. Have you ever imagined using a wearable tail? Well, this is what a team of Japanese researchers have developed.

Meet Arque – A Robotic Tail For Humans To Improve Balance And Agility

 

You read it right! A team of Japanese researchers at Keio University have unveiled a prototype of an agility-increasing robotic tail called Arque. It looks like something straight out of an Alien movie. Arque is an artificial biomimicry-inspired tail that extends innate bodily functions.

Arque, A Robotic Tail

Arque, the robotic tail was presented at a conference in Los Angeles last week. It combines emerging technologies in both gaming and graphics industries, reports Fast Company. Though this wearable might evoke thoughts regarding primate ancestry, the researchers behind Arque state that their version is inspired by the Seahorse. It is a swiveling worm-like device that could be strapped around the user's waist.

The report notes that Seahorse tails are strong to endure predator attacks and flexible to be used like a hand to grip coral and other objects in the environment. The researchers have designed the robotic tail to be versatile by making it adjustable to users based on their height and weight. Notably, the mechanical vertebrae can be attached or detached from the device.

Arque uses a slew of artificial muscles that run throughout its length and a pressurized air system to contract and expand the vertebrae and create movement. The device depends on an external compressor to generate air.

Applications Of Arque

They have designed the various pieces in such a way that these are weighed individually to help the wearer maintain balance while they carry heavy objects. The hardware is said to have use in gaming, especially virtual gaming, which will increase the difficulty of the game and make it realistic.

 

Apart from gaming, Arque will find applications in more practical fields such as exoskeletons used in heavy constructions and robotics. The researchers assure that it will augment human ability.

From the video below, you will get to know how this robotic tail works. It is centered by how monkeys effortlessly leap from one tree to another using their tails for balance and shifting the center of gravity.

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