Experimental Program Tests Synchronization of Muscles Between Two People

New technology could test the limits of athletic performance and improve physical therapy.

June 19, 2017 10:11 am
muscle hacking
Experimental tech lets you hack someone else's muscles. (Getty Images)

Muscles can get hacked just like a computer, it seems.

An experimental technology called Wired Muscle can connect two bodies and allow one to control the other by manipulating their muscular contractions. The device uses a system of sensors and stimulation pads for the puppet-like effect.

Developed by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan and Sony Computer Science Lab, the technology has control over the user’s muscles and makes them move involuntarily. “It feels like someone inside your arm is directly moving your muscle,” lead researcher Jun Nishida said.

According to Fast Company, the experimental tech is an advanced version of Nishida’s first project called BioSync (see below), which mirrored arm movements in two people wearing a device that measured muscle activity and replicated the electrical signals in the other arm.

Wired Muscle takes this a step further by synchronizing two bodies: one person drops an object and the other will automatically catch it. It’s a test the team used for its study (see above).

The puppet-like tech has a range of potential applications from rehabilitation and therapy to athletic enhancement. An MLB team’s worst batter could be controlled by the team’s best batter, for example.

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