When it comes to augmenting the human body with technology, video games and science fiction movies have us dreaming of giant mech-like exosuits, arm-mounted missile launchers and flamethrowers, and superhuman vision and hearing. What we’ve got for now is a robotic tail.
Developed by researchers at Japan’s Keio University, the Arque is a robotic appendage that gives its wearer a mechanical tail. The mechanical tail was inspired by the tail of a seahorse, though in this case, its number of vertebrae are adjustable, and it has artificial muscles which are controlled by a pressurized air system.
Now the idea of a robotic tail might seem silly at first, but it turns out that this unusual device could be useful. You see, animals use their tails to help balance, and by giving humans a tail, it could help us balance in precarious situations, such as carrying boxes up or down stairs, or even to help people who have balance problems.
[via Fast Company]