Ever watched a movie where some human with a robotic arm punched through a wall and thought “I wish I could have an android appendage that could do that?”. Well, who knows, that may soon be a possibility. IEEE Spectrum (via The Verge) has reported on an impressive hydraulic arm, designed by researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada that can simulate quite a lot of tasks that its human wearer can instruct.
The arm, which sits on the wearers hip, has a three-fingered manipulator to carry out its tasks, offering you up to three degrees of freedom and moving at the incredible speed of 3,4 metres per second. The arm itself, while appearing heavy, weighs as little as 4 kilograms, while still being able to pick up 5 kilograms worth of weight. It doesn’t sound impressively strong but when combined with its speed, can carry out an impressive number of activities as the below video illustrates:
The robotic arm certainly has some impressive flexibility which allows it to grip something like a power tool a little more clearly, even if all I’d really want to do with it is punch through a wall. Or somehow finding a way to wear four of them at the same time and do my best Doc Ock impression. The arm does come with an eternal power supply which is perhaps not ideal if you want to move around a lot with it, but for activities requiring you to be in the same space for a period of time, it can certainly be…handy.
Sadly, the way it mimics your movement mans you can’t just be lazy and program it to do chores around the house for you while you go off and do something else instead. It’s certainly a remarkable technology that shows where we are headed in the future and gives one hope that the Deus Ex dream of advanced prosthetics isn’t too far off.
Last Updated: June 9, 2020