What to stick in a prosthetic tail
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    I built a cheapo prosthetic tail spine, it has yet to have the extensor/flexor cables and servos installed, and movement will be controlled by EMG pickups. I'm going to route a whip antenna along the spine, and I'm wondering what else could be put in there for the sake of function - perhaps a small wireless sensor package that reports to a smartphone or something?

    I went with a tail because I still have all my natural limbs, and that's the most readily-apparent "extra" limb that most mammals other than humans possess. I didn't feel like removing one of my hands at this point, maybe another time.
  • DirectorXDirectorX August 2013
    How low does it hang?
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    About two feet, depending on how I rig it up to the servos once they arrive.
  • SaalSaal August 2013
    Stick a taser at the tip O.o
  • DirectorXDirectorX August 2013
    taser would be cool :D. Or a scorpion stinger full of venom. Or rum. Or both.

    How about a metal detector tuned to gold/silver range?
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    A taser/stinger would be pretty badass :O

    I don't know how practical they would be though, I'll have to see how much control and range of motion I have to work with once it's rigged. Do they make lightweight/flexible metal detectors? Not a field I've ever really gotten into, I have no idea what all is out there.

    I found some neat cellular repeaters that could work, powered by a battery pack with the antenna routed along the spine.
  • SaalSaal August 2013
    Forget the taser, I'm all about the rum stinger now
  • SaalSaal August 2013
    Hmmm...do the metal detector as well. Here's to @zombiegristle, the first piratehacker ;P
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    Rum storage/injection and metal detector...Also needs a spyglass storage compartment and possibly a map holder.

    Yar har, fiddle-de-dee...With a wag of my tail, I find trinkets for free!
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    Will you have enough range of motion to pull the stinger up to your mouth?
    Or at least close enough for a small pump to spray rum into your mouth?


  • begoniabegonia August 2013
    Are you planning for implantation? I am curious how you would plan to do it. 
  • SaalSaal August 2013
    @countseven,

    Cmon dude, it's a stinger not a tap. When you're pro you get your rum by IV ;)
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight August 2013
    You could include a sprayer for the rum and some sort of ignition mechanism and you'd have a flame thrower too.
  • DirectorXDirectorX August 2013
    Good call on the flame thrower. You might want to have a different chamber for another type of flammable liquid though. Rum does light on fire, but all of the studies I have seen suggest that lighting rum on fire results in a loss of rum.
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight August 2013
    Agreed. Try gasoline with some styrafoam dissolve in it. Extremely flammable, sticks to the target, and produces a toxic smoke screen to boot.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    We can't be doing toxic smoke screens til we have a implanted filter.  

    @Saal 

    My bad, I actually gave up alcohol until December, to let the C60 do it's thing.  But I'm gonna spend some time in Colorado instead. :)
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight August 2013
    @countseven Oh yeah... It'd be kinda bad if you poisoned yourself in the middle of the fight. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a ranged weapon if you're too close to it.

    You could also take a note from lizards and make it detachable with a self-destruct component. 


  • SaalSaal August 2013
    Poor @zombiegristle....can't get straight hack advice from a single one of us ingrates xD

    The taser idea was legit, actually. They're damn easy to make at home as well.
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    Hah! I'd hardly call this a serious project, I was bored over the weekend. Rather unlikely it will ever amount to anything or actually get worn, but it gave me something fun and constructive to do.

    I doubt I'd be able to get the length and movement needed to "feed" myself rum, but whipping it sideways to tase/sting/knife/whatever someone might be doable. As far as desirable, well...Iunno. Oh, and anything involving flames or gasoline is right out, the ATF would pitch a fit.

    I like the metal detector idea, and I'm going to keep looking at cellular repeaters and radio antennas. I also think a quick-detatch is a good idea just in case of getting it caught on something like shrubs or nosy kids, would be a shame to damage the servo assembly.

    Back to the less-seriousness, I could add tubing filled with a concentrated acid, and a sprayer in the tip. It sort of looks like a Xenomorph tail, anyway.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    well, if you're just going to whip it around, add on some low-tech. Put a morningstar head on it, and electrify the spikes. That way you can pierce, crush, and zap. And add in a couple pressure triggered injector needles to inject the acid. That'd be a badass sting.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    But your local PD probably wouldn't like it.
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    The problem that leaps to mind with that idea, is the part where the flail keeps moving and I end up crushing, stinging, poisoning, and electrifying my own crotch. That might put a damper on my day.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    That's just a matter of training with it enough to develop proprioception with it. A couple month wearing it around with a dummy club on the end ought to give you that.  And just have a switch on the harness/belt you'll wear it with to activate the electricity and acid injectors.  And since we're being sorta silly. you need to work lasers into it somehow. xP
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    And I'll install an MP3 player, and sync the lasers and movements to some loud dubstep!

    back to serious for a sec, I think I found a workable antenna that plugs into those old Nextel "Direct Talk" capable phones, for use as off-network radio comms.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    Cool. You gonna try to wire up cb or a police scanner? 

    And if you do the lasers and dubstep, you can totally make an entirely new martial arts style!!!
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    It might be interesting to try rigging it up as a tentacle coming off your back and over your shoulder, too. Put a clamp or something on the end, and work on getting it to hold still when you want, and you've got yourself an extra limb you can work with. Or perhaps mount a flashlight on the end of it, and work on getting it to point where you're focused?

  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    I think I may just make it a communications booster in general - the spine has four ridges (basically a big X cross-section), so I could potentially route four different antennas along it. Pentaband cellular repeater/antenna, Direct Talk antenna, wi-fi antenna, and a whip antenna for the CB radio in my car. Antennas just seem to be well suited to the shape of a tail/spine apparatus.

    We'll call the laser/EDM style..."Wub Chun"! Or "Taekwubdo"?
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    The tentacle idea would work, same basic principle just more precise movement. Why stop there, I'll make a backpack housing a power source and control unit, and be Doc Ock for halloween.
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    That would be awesome, and let me know if you need any help. I'm afraid my area of expertise is more Oil & Gas industry related, but this stuff is what I love. Have ever since I first found out about techpriests in 40k, back in 3rd grade. 
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight August 2013
    I have a field day with this kind of stuff, and I know some people who are pretty good with robotics. I could shoot them a few e-mails if you have any questions.
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    Sweet! Couldn't hurt to ask if they know a good source for cheap, compact, high-torque servos, bonus points for USB power. The ones I was looking at have metal gears/bearings and are about $50 per, made by "Hitec" (hopefully not the same one that makes the cheap hiking boots).

    New question for srsness - What about setting up an induction coil wound around the spine near the base, for interaction with implanted earbuds like @DirectorX has? I could use an arbitrarily large number of coils, but would the range from the ear make it moot?
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    What were you planning to use to power the tail?  I'd think a good rc battery would work best, something like one of these. 
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle August 2013
    Originally it was going to be almost exactly that, but the cellular booster accepts USB power and I've found some lightweight LiFePO4 battery packs over 10000mAh with 2+ USB outputs, so I figured I may as well make the whole thing USB-powered. I may sacrifice some longevity per-charge, but I don't have to carry a second power source and as a bonus it can also be used to recharge various USB gadgetry.

    I'm going to have to wear it outside at least once just for the opportunity to plug my ass into my laptop to recharge and see the looks I get XD
  • countsevencountseven August 2013
    Use a public charging station, if there's one in a mall near you, or something. 
  • countsevencountseven September 2013
    So how well has it worked?
  • zombiegristlezombiegristle September 2013
    It hasn't really progressed. I got the cable "tendons" rigged up and have a control board, but haven't ordered the servos, EMG pickups, or any of the proposed electronics yet. Been rather busy, and all my spare biohacking energy is going towards the NIR vision project.
  • Did you ever get this thing working?
  • Yeah, reading through the thread now I'm curious. Any pics?