Robotic tail designed for humans (ASL – 8.15.19)

Robotic tail designed for humans (ASL – 8.15.19)

Transcript

Check this out.

It’s a wearable tail created by Japanese designers.

But it’s not for fun or a bizarre Halloween costume.

It has a medical purpose.

This high-tech strap-on tail has sensors and artificial “muscles” that make it move in response to its wearer’s movements.

Here’s how it works: The tail contains sensors and four artificial muscles which allows it to move in response to the wearer’s movements.

For example if you lean left, the tail swings right. If you lean down, the tail swings upward.

The counter movement changes the body’s momentum and center of gravity.

Researchers say that enables it to provide stability which can help people tripping or balancing problems.

They developed the robotic appendage by studying cats and tigers but ended up settling on seahorses as a model.

That’s because their larger and heavier tails are better at providing the force and momentum necessary for impacting center of gravity.

The human tail needs to weigh 5 percent of the wearer’s body weight to be effective.

In recent years Japan has become a world leader in wearable technology, many designed to improve users’ health and quality of life, like robotic exoskeletons that help kids with cerebral palsy walk and nail stickers with scannable barcodes to help keep track of senior citizens with dementia.

Right now the robotic tail is just a project in a lab as researchers continue to tweak the technology.

The Closed Caption version of this video can be found here:

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