Keio University researchers in Japan have developed a prototype robot tail, called Arque, for humans. When worn, it can be adjusted to the wearer’s body and allow them to stay balanced when moving quickly or handling heavy objects. Thanks to a modular vertebrae design, it can easily adapt to the wearer’s height and weight. The prototype must be anchored to an external pressurized air system, so this version is not fully mobile. Read more for a video and additional information.
Believe it or not, the tail was inspired by the seahorse, since those are strong enough to endure attacks from predators, while still being flexible enough to be used a type of hand to grip coral and other objects. In addition to using several artificial muscles that run along its length and using a pressurized air system to expand and contract vertebrae to create movement, the modular pieces are also weighted to help the wearer maintain balance when carrying heavy objects.