MIT researchers develop robotic arms to lend a hand
Researchers at MIT are developing Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs), which are worn to give a user an extra set of limbs. Shoulder mounted limbs help the user in carrying out above-the-waist tasks, like opening a door when your hands are full, or lending a hand during a construction project.
The shoulder mounted arms uses two inertial measurement units (IMUs) worn on the users wrists and a third at the base of the shoulder mount to monitor movement. Based on the data collected by the IMUs, the SRL decides on the most helpful position to assume (this prediction is based on a model created by demonstrated learning).
A similar SRL being developed at MT is a waste-mounted set of arms, is largely funded by Boeing, and is designed to brace the user and minimize injury during demanding tasks like heavy lifting.