MIT researchers use robotic arms to assist with heavy lifting

Nate Swanner - Jun 3, 2014, 6:50 pm CDT
MIT researchers use robotic arms to assist with heavy lifting

A group of MIT researchers have set out to make you a bit more robotic, adding a few extra limbs along the way. Their design offers up robotic arms, which sit on your body like a backpack. The goal is not to take the place of your arms, or replace limbs in any way. Instead, the concept is to give yourself a helping hand with heavy lifting and the like.

As you can see in the video below, the backpack can help with tasks like heavy or awkward lifting, but how do they do it? The backpack monitors your movement, and learns where it should be going based on you. As you can see below, the arms hover in place before snapping to attention when they’re needed.

In addition to noting your movement, the backpack can take the type of movement into consideration. Move quickly, and the arms know you’re in need. Orientation is also taken into account, where holding an object from the side or certain angle could be appreciated.

The goal is to have the pack behave like an extension of your body. That suggests it will need to be fitted to a user, and each pack could learn specific actions made by that user. The team at MIT are still working on their various packs, but no timeline for use outside the lab has been noted.

Via: The Verge

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