These wearable robotic limbs are a sneak-peak of future cyborgs in the making

Doctor Octavius, the infamous villain from the Spiderman movie might not be the aspiration of most, but still, he has superhuman powers aided by telescopic tentacles. Capable of moving at lightning-fast speed, the mechanical arms strike with a jackhammer-like force.

If already you’re fanaticized by the prospect of having these superhuman abilities, technology is where we need to look for answers. Indeed, true in the case of this newly developed set of robotic arms that can be attached or detached.

Designer: Jizai Arms

Japanese robotics outfit Jizai Arms wants to bring such superhuman powers to the average human with a contraption comprising six arms. The octopus-like arms are controlled by the person wearing them. The idea for this unique creation is triggered by the past. According to the company, “Half a century since the concept of a cyborg was introduced, Jizai-bodies (digital cyborgs), enabled by the spread of wearable robotics, are the focus of much research in recent times.”

The company is a team of scientists at the University of Tokyo who’ve created a wearable contraption with six sockets that can each be plugged with an individual arm. They can be controlled by the user’s arm and hand movement or remotely by another person. For now, the wearable rig is developed with social interactions in mind, but in the future, it could evolve into a tool for increasing productivity, or if in the wrong hands, it could give an evil mind undue advantage with 6 extra limbs to fire weapons or whatnot.

These arms are aesthetically designed to draw attention with slender hands to replicate any movement. The core idea is to have a smooth interaction of humans with AI and robots  – to feel as natural and comfortable as possible for the eventual future.  A group of volunteers put on the Jizai Arms for a role-playing experimental session. Here each one of them could exchange arms, receive them as gifts or even control the arms of other volunteers. The findings were encouraging as each volunteer’s body could accurately sense the removal or attachment of arms.

To conclude the study, researchers said that adding customizability to the robotic arms for a sense of social ownership could be the next phase of development. How long before we could see a Boston Dynamics-like robotic fleet of intelligent cyborgs is not known for now. Still, the idea of multiple robotic limbs to enhance one’s capabilities entices me already.