What to stick in a prosthetic tail

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.


  • How low does it hang?
  • About two feet, depending on how I rig it up to the servos once they arrive.
  • Stick a taser at the tip O.o
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Forget the taser, I'm all about the rum stinger now
  • Hmmm...do the metal detector as well. Here's to @zombiegristle, the first piratehacker ;P
  • 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!
  • edited 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?

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

    Cmon dude, it's a stinger not a tap. When you're pro you get your rum by IV ;)
  • You could include a sprayer for the rum and some sort of ignition mechanism and you'd have a flame thrower too.
  • 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.
  • Agreed. Try gasoline with some styrafoam dissolve in it. Extremely flammable, sticks to the target, and produces a toxic smoke screen to boot.
  • We can't be doing toxic smoke screens til we have a implanted filter.  

    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. :)
  • @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. 

  • 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.
  • edited 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.
  • 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.
  • But your local PD probably wouldn't like it.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!!!
  • 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?

  • 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"?
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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?
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