Principles of human movement augmentation and the challenges in making it a reality

Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 15;13(1):1345. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28725-7.


Augmenting the body with artificial limbs controlled concurrently to one's natural limbs has long appeared in science fiction, but recent technological and neuroscientific advances have begun to make this possible. By allowing individuals to achieve otherwise impossible actions, movement augmentation could revolutionize medical and industrial applications and profoundly change the way humans interact with the environment. Here, we construct a movement augmentation taxonomy through what is augmented and how it is achieved. With this framework, we analyze augmentation that extends the number of degrees-of-freedom, discuss critical features of effective augmentation such as physiological control signals, sensory feedback and learning as well as application scenarios, and propose a vision for the field.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Movement