‘MetaLimbs’ are a First Step Toward Real-Life SPIDER-MAN Doc Ock Arms

Even the brilliant—and yes, evil—Otto Octavius must have started somewhere when inventing the infamous metal tentacles that allow him to handle radioactive substances and also occasionally choke Spider-Man a little. This should be kept in mind when taking in this video of Inami Hiyama Laboratory’s MetaLimbs, because even though there’s only two additional arms here, it’s easy to imagine these real-life robo-limbs evolving into something that could, to quote Spider-Man’s own words to Doc Ock, “turn you into something that you’re not.”

The robotic limbs, which come via BoingBoing, will be displayed in person at Siggraph 2017 in Los Angeles, and were created by the Inami Hiyama Laboratory at the University of Tokyo to help expand people’s natural physical limitations due to our apparent lack of limbs. In the video, the narrator notes that the limbs allow you to “use your actual two arms while holding an object with the robotic hand,” or “reach and grasp an object, touch yourself, and move four arms at the same time.”

Anybody who’s ever been really busy knows how important it is to be able to operate four arms while simultaneously touching themselves.

The exoskeletal arms are operated via the user’s toes and legs, which, when wiggled or moved, send commands to the arms and hands. This is done using bending sensors that have been placed on a “socks device” on the feet, as well as sensors on the legs. This design means that the arms are to be used almost exclusively for seated activities, although in the video we do get a glimpse of somebody using them while standing.

Along with being able to control the arms, they can also provide haptic feedback to the feet—meaning if the hand palms a ball, you’ll experience a correlate feeling of that pressing force against your foot. The video’s narrator even notes that “your body will adapt to a new type of human shape, and the body schema will metamorphose into multiple arms.” It could either be great for everyday multitasking or maybe (one day) leaping from skyscraper to skyscraper while also fending off a web-slinging superhero.

What do you think about these MetaLimbs? Would you like to start using these things around the house, or are you more than fine with your current body schema? Let us know your thoughts below!

Images: YouTube / InamiLaboratory

What about that Spider-Man though?

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