MetaLimbs adds “new arms” that can be freely manipulated by strapping on 2 robotic arms. The robotic arms are worn on the shoulders, and sensors placed on the top of the feet and the knees of both right and left legs track the movements of the legs to move the arms. Moving the toes moves the robot hands, which are equipped with tactile sensors, and the sensations of the robotic hands are fed back to the legs. These robotic arms can provide functions that surpass human physical abilities by replacing the end of the robotic arms with tools such as a soldering iron. As trends in technology transition from prosthetic to human enhancement technology, the question is raised as to how technology will change human physical sensation.
We have a strong image of tools surpassing human abilities to optimize and manipulate functions, or complement functions and passively operate. However, MetaLimbs has achieved universal function that can be actively operated through the unique idea of linking robotic arms with legs. If we imagine that once manipulation using the legs is learned MetaLimbs will feel like a part of the body, then the possibilities for obtaining new physical functions greatly increase. I anticipate further development and commercialization. (ENDO Masanobu)