No. 60


By : Junichi Nabeshima

Entrant’s location : 日本



Arqueは「平衡感覚能力を補綴する拡張身体としての人工尾」というコンセプトで作られた、人間のための尻尾デバイスである。 私たち、人間の祖先は自然環境に適応するように進化をしてきた。 現在の人間の体には進化の過程で役割を失って退化した器官の名残がいくつも存在する。 その内の一つが尻尾である。 多くの脊椎動物が共通して持つ尻尾という器官は、その尻尾を持つ動物により多岐にわたる。 だが一方で、尻尾により重心位置を調整することで平衡能力を向上するという役割は共通して備わっている。 人間が拡張身体として尻尾を生やし、平衡維持能力を高めることができれば、 身体感覚/活動にどのような変容が起きるのだろうか。この作品では人工尾を義手や義足のような人工装具として位置付け、人間の新しい身体のカタチとして提案する。 本システムは尻尾に内蔵された4つの空気圧式人工筋肉をエアーコンプレッサーで加圧することで駆動する。本体はPLAを用いて3Dプリントされた骨格パーツと天然ゴムを用いた人工筋肉で構成され、使用者の体重に応じて鉛を荷重として骨格パーツに搭載する。重量は2~3kg。制作年は2019年3月。

What did you create?

Arque is an artificial tail that augments human balance ability. Tail is an organ commonly held by many vertebrate animals, but our homosapien ancestors’ bodies lost their tail in the process of evolution and adaptation. While the role played by the tail varies depending on animals, it shared, in general, a common role to control animals’ equilibrium. What if our bodies were capable to integrate a functional tail? We imagine its applications can emulate some of the functions presented in nature, or even be used for scenarios in which altering the body’s center of mass can be helpful such as full body haptic feedback. In this work, we define an artificial tail as a prosthesis, such as a prosthetic hand or a prosthetic leg, and propose it as a new human body option in the future.

Why did you make it?

Balancing is an important skill that humans have actively learned during evolution. However, in some situations, lifting heavy objects or walking on uneven surfaces can break the balance. Our ancestor monkey used the tail to help balance, but the human body lost its tail to adapt to environmental changes. In recent years, there has been a trend to add new body parts for human augmentation, such as adding two more arms to the human. With the development of prosthetic technology, we wanted to create a new augmented body option in humans by imitating the tails of animals. By adding a prosthetic tail to the human body, we aim to present additional forces and better control to our body balance.

How did you make it?

Two main prototypes were designed during the development process. The first prototype consisted of artificial vertebrae using acrylic. The vertebra is connected via four wires and moves horizontally and vertically using a DC motor. This design makes the tail portable and lightweight. However, in order to efficiently present thrust to the wearer's center of gravity during the development process, a structure capable of handling high torque, at least 5% of the body weight, was a prerequisite. Following this requirement, the next prototype was changed to a design with pneumatic artificial muscles, and the skeletal structure biomimics the tail of a seahorse. The tail skeleton of the seahorse is composed of a central vertebra and four surrounding L-shaped plates, making it highly resistant to bending and twisting. The same structure was designed and printed in 3D CAD, and combined with artificial muscles to build a system for the entire tail.

Your entry’s specification

The tail body is composed of PLA used for 3D printing and rubber used for artificial muscle, brass and lead as connection part and load. An air compressor is used as a power source. Weight: 2~3kg Size: 80×12×12cm