Yamen Saraiji, Junichi Nabeshima and Kouta Minamizawa
Inspired by Seahorses
Designed by a team at Keio University in Tokyo, “Arque” is a wearable human tail which is attached to a person’s back by a harness, and which helps a wearer correct their balance the same way animals do.
With built-in artificial muscles and vertebrae, the tail uses a pneumatic system to bend and move along with the wearer. This acts as a smart counterbalance whenever the wearer is leaning or swaying.
The inspiration behind the “biomimicry-inspired tail” was how the tails of mammals and other vertebrates act like an additional limb. “Arque” is also able to twitch and twist like an actual tail.
How it works:
“Arque”’s tail contains sensors and four artificial “muscles”. These allow the tail to move accordingly to the wearer’s movements. The tail’s movements move in opposition to the wearer’s direction, acting as a counter-movement which provides enough force to change the body’s momentum and center of gravity. This helps to correct balance and give wearers greater stability.
The movement generated by the tail consists interlocking plastic vertebrae parts that uses a spring-based structure to handle shearing and tangential forces. Each of the vertebrae contains one central plate which is surrounded by four additional four protective plates. The plates are linked together with elastic cords. Additional segments can then be added to modify the flexibility and weight of the rail (the spine of the tail) to match the wearer’s physique.
GRADUATED SPINE SUPPORT SYSTEM
snezhana paderina and nikita replyanski
Reinventing the orthopedic brace so that people with medical conditions can have both spinal support with a broad range of mobility and also look fashionable while wearing it
Graduated Spine Support System is a wearable device designed to provide dynamic back support. Using data assessed by an integrated neural network, GS3’s lightweight cable mechanism can easily and precisely adjust to the wearer’s rigidity and support level.
Inspired by a young woman, Polina, who lives with Connective Tissue Dysplasia, a condition which causes joint hypermobility and chronic musculoskeletal issues that require daily spinal support. Braces became unsuitable for the body’s comfort and affects daily living. They were awkward, inconvenient and unattractive. The materials used were also not optimal in efficiency and mobility.
The purpose of the GS3 system is to reinvent the orthopaedic brace such that it has both good spinal support and a broad range of mobility functions. Furthermore, one can look good wearing it. GS3 can also target people who are undergoing physical rehabilitation and people who perform heavy physical tasks. GS3 can act as a prosthetic that can provide exoskeletal stability. It helps to enhance the existing muscle efficiency and secures the wearer’s spine such that they have an extra “superpower” to do hard labour.
How it works:
Other than its capable functions, GS3 is also comfortable. It has high-performance tech fabrics and its anatomically shaped structure. Through 3D-printed components referenced from the neural network research the creators have done, the spine is flexible and has smart behaviour.
The 3D-printed components utilizes polymer-based gradient 3D printing which allows a gradual increase of the rigidity along the surface of the blocks while keeping the wider surface of the brace flexible.
The smart behaviour, on the other hand, enables GS3 to learn the wearer’s typical behaviour and habits in movement and conform to the individual’s movements as long as it is within the limits the physician sets for their patient.
GS3’s control can also be programmed via its mobile app. Data is sent directly from an array of accelerometers in GS3, operated through a Bluetooth mesh. Each sensor sends its data to the processor without disrupting the other sensor connections, such that GS3 can respond efficiently to the wearer’s needs.
GS3 is also a fashion accessory. With a minimalistic cut, GS3 is made to convey elegance and plasticity. It is also universal, as it can be matched easily with other types of apparel. The material used to make GS3 is also high-performance, with intricate textures woven into its material.