May 23, 2023

Japanese Researchers Develop Backpack With Robotic Arms

Building high-tech arms is all the rage in robotics, now imagine having two extra pairs of them. Well, a group of scientists at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) in Tokyo, Japan have taken the idea, and made it into a compact backpack, too!

According to a paper published in March 2022 by the UTokyo team, the portable robotic platform, known as Jizai Body, allows the user to “(simultaneously) control (or delegate control) of their natural body and extensions of it, both in physical and cyberspace.”

Thus, “allowing social interaction among multiple wearers, such as a swap of the arm(s), and to examine possible interactions among digital cyborgs in a cyborg community,” the paper continues.

Aside from a cyborg future where arms will be freely traded to tighten societal bonds, this aspect also means greater mobility for people with disabilities as rapidly developing human/machine interfaces can enable smoother social changes. However, this is just a start.

The Japanese word, “Jizai”, has a Sanskrit origin in the word, “isvara”, which means “supreme being” – or, in western terms, transhumanism. The word itself refers to being free from earthly restraints and desires.

Before you go off sprouting comic book villain references and robot uprising conspiracy theories, first consider how easy washing the dishes – and a laundry list of other mundane chores – will become.