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Science & Technology

Wearable arm turns you into a real-life Doc Ock

By T.K. Randall
June 9, 2020 · Comment icon 10 comments

The arm can help you pick fruit, among other things. Image Credit: YouTube / Createk Engineering Lab
Researchers have come up with a remote-controlled robotic arm that can be worn around your waist.
It turns out that Spider-Man villain Dr Otto Octavius is not the only one with wearable robotic arms - as evidenced by this novel new robotic limb developed by a team of researchers from Canada's Universite de Sherbrooke as part of a collaboration with Exonetik.

While the hydraulic arm, which features three degrees of freedom, is certainly not as elegant as its comic-book counterparts, it has the potential to become something very significant in the future.

Tethered to an external power system, the arm is controlled by a second person standing nearby.

Despite these limitations however, it is quite capable of performing a number of useful tasks from picking fruit to painting a wall and can also pick up and hand tools and other objects to the wearer.
It is even capable of smashing down walls using a mace-like appendage.

With the goal of "mimicking the performance of a human arm in a multitude of industrial and domestic applications", the arm certainly has a few rough edges (such as the wearer being shaken around quite a bit by its movement) but the future potential is definitely there.

It will be interesting to see how this technology develops over the next few years.

You can check out a video of the arm in action below.

Source: Tech Spot | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
The arm is cool. Mounting it to somebody's waist seems a little lame. If another person needs to control it, might as well use a mechanical platform.
Comment icon #2 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
Ideal for social distancing, but this picture is not a good example to use, she has two arms, does she really need the extra attachment round her waist to pick flowers?  Saying that, what are those things on the bush? 
Comment icon #3 Posted by XenoFish 4 years ago
I can see such tech developing into a usable exoskeleton. For using in space exploration and hazardous work. You'd need a fully functional neural link, so that the arm or arms would become second nature to use. Then again, how much of a step would it be to cybernetics.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
It requires two people to do the work of less than one person. That's great.
Comment icon #5 Posted by ercbreeze 4 years ago
Seems like they would get more work done--if the other person just helped her.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Susanc241 4 years ago
You've got to start somewhere!
Comment icon #7 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
True, but this is cumbersome and probably heavy, requires two people and a control box that looks like it probably weighs at least 10 lbs. You have cables on the ground and the arm is going to throw the wearer off balance all the time and jerk them around. Better off to begin development of a complete robot right from the start. The control box could be mounted inside and the control guy could do it remotely. I see no viability to this involving a person wearing it, except as one other poster said: "In space". Seems it would be a useful tool outside a spacecraft and all the balance and jerk is... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Susanc241 4 years ago
Just consider the room sized computers we started out with and look where we are now!
Comment icon #9 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
I get the idea. I just don't see this as something that's going to develop. Like I said, if you are going to use an automated arm, why not use an entire robot with multiple arms? At the rate this will advance...well, frankly, robots like this are already under development. Not to mention, In auto factories, the workers don't even need to wear the arm. I guess I just don't get the perception that you'd need to wear the arm, unless it's being developed for the disabled and that's also being worked on already, with appendages located where human arms normally are located. I don't know, normally, ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
Here's a far more feasible "wearable arm":  

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