LIMBO (Limbs In Motion By Others) is a project that aims to help people learn new physical tasks via a remote collaborator, while also augmenting ability for those that have difficulty holding objects.
It's a wearable device that connects to three electrodes, placed around the wrist muscles for controling muscle stimulation, effectively giving the device ability to assist the user in making different grasping gestures.
When activated, the user can feel a force on their palm and fingers, causing a grasping motion on his or her hand.
LIMBO works by applying a high-voltage, high-frequency signal to the skin, causing the muscles in the area to contract. This principle is called Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), and has been known and in use by researchers since the late 1960s.
LIMBO aims to take this technology into wearable, mobile form for uses other than just stimulating muscle deprived of nervous control.
With LIMBO, we envision a product that can be used by people to teach others how to operate equipment, learn musical instruments, or to just get assistance from a remote user, who can guide the local user on these tasks.
LIMBO is a 3D-printed enclosure, housing a custom-milled PCB with an Arduino Mini and Bluetooth module for wireless access control.
The unit has 3 channels, giving the ability to attach electrodes to contract 3 different muscle groups. The design can be extended to use more channels.
E. Dreshaj, S.W. Leigh, A. Dementyev, P. Maes, V.M. Bove Jr., "LIMBO: Programming and Augmenting Muscles using Electrical Stimulation", CHI Workshop Demo 2014
Go to the Sci-fi 2 Sci-fab page to read about the making of LIMBO.