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arque biomechanical tail siggraph 2019

Scientists have created a biomechanical tail just for humans


TextZoe Huxford

The Arque debuted at computer graphic convention SIGGRAPH 2019 and aims to help the body with balance and mobility

100 years ago people probably dreamed of what life would be like in the future, but none of them could have conceived in 2019 we’d be wearing tails. Enter: the Arque – a fully functioning biomechanical tail just for humans. 

The invention of the tail was announced by its creators Junichi Nabeshima, MHD Yamen Saraiji, and Kouta Minamizawa (from the Keio University Graduate School of Media Design) and was debuted at computer graphic convention SIGGRAPH 2019 yesterday.  

Speaking about the piece, the creators said: “For most vertebrate animals, (the) tail plays an important role for their body, providing variant functions to expand their mobility. In this work, Arque, we propose an artificial biomimicry-inspired anthropomorphic tail to allow us to alter our body momentum for assistive and haptic feedback applications.”

So, although it looks ridiculous, it has the potential to do pretty amazing things; it could be used to assist the elderly with mobility, prevent them from falling over, support labourers when they’re moving heavy loads and be incorporated into a balance rehabilitation programme. As if that wasn’t enough, as a pneumatic tail, the length and weight can be adjusted to accommodate the user’s body, meaning that it’s inclusive as well.

Watch The Arque in action below. 

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