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MIT Won’t Wait for Sinister Six, Invented Their Own Doctor Octopus Arms

Neat! Do Mysterio next!

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 4.20.53 PM

Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs) are robot limbs that give the wearer extra appendages instead of augmenting their existing ones. They can be used for important things like holding an object that a person needs two hands to interact with, opening doors when you’re holding something in both hands, or making you Doc Ock—whatever you’re into.

Of course, designing a robot arm is pretty easy (for MIT), but designing one that can be used autonomously of the operator’s own arms has a set of hurdles to overcome. If you have to manually operate your own robot arm, that doesn’t exactly leave your hands free to work with whatever it’s holding. So, MIT’s shoulder-mounted SRL movement data and programmed behaviors to figure out when you’re vulnerable to its play for dominance what you need it to do.

Like this:

The prospective super villain simply wears inertial measurement units on their wrists that record gyroscopic and acceleration data, and the SRL can then figure out what its symbiotic partner is doing and how it can help. I that’s not all the Doc Ock cosplay robotics you can handle, they’ve got more for you:

SRL_Concept_web

See? They thought of everything. Arms worn lower on the body and closer to the hip can be used to stabilize and brace the wearer when performing physically intense tasks. Or supporting the weight of your other three killer robot arms, probably.

So, you’ll have plenty of options for your eventual plan for world domination/untold riches/beating up superheroes.

(via IEEE, image via IEEE Spectrum on YouTube and MIT d’Arbeloff Laboratory)

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