And finally… Fancy an extra set of arms?

And finally… Fancy an extra set of arms?

Charlotte Stoel

Charlotte Stoel

Tech wizzes from the University of Tokyo and Keio University have created a robotic system called ‘Fusion’ that gives the wearer an extra head and two arms. It sounds completely wacky and does look a bit peculiar when you see it on a human. Worn like a backpack, the makers have described it as ‘full body surrogacy for collaborative communication.’

The system is operated remotely using a VR headset and controls, with the idea that the operator has the same perspective as the user. The system uses stereo cameras, anthropomorphic arms and hands with motion sensors.

You must watch the video to understand it better:

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/embed/Nrc7gH6dydw[/embed]

Weird as it seems, you can instantly understand the types of applications for this technology. As an example for training and corporate learning, a worker can easily and quickly be shown how to assemble an item on a factory floor. Another way the system can be operated is through ‘enforced body guidance’, helping guide the users with hand movement. The developers say that in this mode the system can help people complete tasks they may have difficulty with.

Fusion could be launched in the next three years if it gets enough funding – one to watch.

As a comms person it got me wondering how this could change my working day. It would be mighty handy to be able to simultaneously type up an article, sip my coffee and check my phone for client-related tweets. But then again, I’m not sure my brain could keep up!

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