Half a century after the concept of a cyborg was introduced, digital cyborgs or robotic human augmentation enabled by wearable robotics present numerous questions for our society. As these technologies are integrated into real societies undergoing a digital transformation, we must consider how individuals might adopt or resist them, and whether they will embrace or reject the idea of human bodies being transformed into digital cyborgs.
To explore these questions, we propose JIZAI ARMS: a supernumerary robotic limb system that consists of a wearable base unit with six terminals and detachable robot arms that can be computationally controlled. The JIZAI ARMS system is designed to facilitate social interaction between wearers, allowing for the gifting and exchanging of body parts and fostering exploration into the fascinating concept of aesthetic body parts.
Through our contemporary dance performance, we will show how a social digital cyborg wearing JIZAI ARMS can create an aesthetic expression of the human body. Beyond technology-enabled artistic performance, the JIZAI ARMS project explores possible interactions between digital cyborgs in a cyborg society in various contexts and situations in the near future.
This project aims to explore intriguing questions, such as, whether individuals will love their robotic body parts during their lifetime, if they can fall in love with a digital cyborg and if their robotic body parts will be mourned and memorialized as a part of their being after their death. By addressing these questions, we hope to provide a platform for critical consideration of the societal impact of digital cyborgs and foster dialogue around their integration into society.
Yusuke Kamiyama (JP), Shin Sakamoto (JP), Daisuke Uriu (JP), Mitsuru Muramatsu (JP), Nahoko Yamamura (JP), Shunji Yamanaka (JP), Masahiko Inami (JP)
JIZAI ARMS is a supernumerary robotic limb system consisting of a wearable base unit with six terminals and detachable robot arms.
Half a century since the concept of a cyborg was introduced, digital cyborgs, enabled by the spread of wearable robotics, are the focus of much research in recent times. JIZAI ARMS is a supernumerary robotic limb system consisting of a wearable base unit with six terminals and detachable robot arms. The system was designed to explore possible interactions among digital cyborgs in a cyborg society.
Daisuke Uriu (JP)
Daisuke Uriu is an interaction designer with a PhD in Media Design from Keio University. He is an assistant professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology. His expertise lies in designing interactive solutions for memorialization, utilizing his extensive experience in conducting ethnographic surveys, developing design concepts, and implementing prototypes.
Mitsuru Muramatsu (JP)
Mitsuru Muramatsu is a design engineer and researcher. With a PhD in Media and Governance from Keio University, he has a deep understanding of designing lifelike robots and has created several award-winning robotic artworks. Previously, he worked as a project research associate at the Prototyping & Design Laboratory, The University of Tokyo.
Yusuke Kamiyama (JP)
Yusuke Kamiyama is a design engineer, director and founder of SPLINE DESIGN HUB. He is particularly good at designing robots and machines that complexly integrate various engineering elements. From 2019, he is a specially appointed associate professor in Keio University.
Shin Sakamoto (JP)
Shin Sakamoto is a product designer and design engineer. He is a project researcher at The University of Tokyo. He has been researching and developing prosthetic legs using additive manufacturing in order to provide functional and beautiful running of specific prostheses. He also designs low-cost electric prosthetic hands using 3D printers.
Nahoko Yamamura (JP)
Nahoko Yamamura is a PhD student at The University of Tokyo, researching human augmentation and interhuman collaboration using robotics, and an experienced embedded systems engineer with a master’s degree from Keio University.
Shunji Yamanaka (JP)
Shunji Yamanaka is product designer and professor at The University of Tokyo, Japan. He founded his industrial design practice, Leading Edge Design, where he serves as president. He has received many awards including the 2004 Mainichi Design Award, iF Product Design Award (Germany) and Good Design Award Gold Prize.
Masahiko Inami (JP)
Masahiko Inami is a professor at The University of Tokyo. His interests include „JIZAI body editing technology,“ the Augmented Human and entertainment engineering. He has received several awards, including TIME Magazine’s „Coolest Invention of the Year“ and the Young Scientist Award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.
The JIZAI ARMS project team consists of artists and researchers who developed JIZAI ARMS.
JIZAI ARMS was produced through a collaboration between the University of Tokyo’s Information Somatics Lab, which studies human augmentation technology, and the Prototyping Lab, which seeks to introduce design into areas of advanced technology where design methods have not yet been established. The production of JIZAI ARMS was supported by the JST ERATO Inami JIZAI-Body Project.
DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Nahoko Yamamura, Daisuke Uriu, Mitsuru Muramatsu, Yusuke Kamiyama, Shin Sakamoto, Shunji Yamanaka; RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Masahiko Inami AFFILIATION: Information Somatics Lab / Prototyping & Design Laboratory, The University of Tokyo; JST ERATO INAMI JIZAI-BODY PROJECT