Advanced technology is just science fiction until some international standards group forms a committee with an anonymously bureaucratic name to make sure every mind-blowing new advancement is nice and safe and boring, just like it should be. This is now happening to a very exciting technology that was firmly science fiction not so long ago: robotic, strength-enhancing exoskeletons.
Tagged With exoskeletons
When a lot of people picture an exoskeleton, they might imagine Matt Damon wearing a robotic jumpsuit of sorts in the entertaining but critically panned move Elysium. Samsung has a different idea for how this technology might work. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company showed off a line of exoskeleton concepts. They’re sleek, lightweight, and as far I know, do not require screwing anything into your spine. This is a future I can get behind!
We're still a long way from a Metroid-style space bounty hunter suit, but the US military is prototyping new wearables to enhance soldiers' combat abilities. These include an exoskeleton similar to those being trialled for factory workers, and a prosthetic arm device, officially named the "Third Arm", meant to make heavy machinery feel weightless.
Researchers from Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS have developed a soft robotic exosuit that significantly boosts a person's running performance. The device requires a tether and external power supply to work, but once it becomes portable, it could help athletes run faster and further than before, smashing their existing running records without having to undergo additional training.
As machines go, the human body is an extraordinarily efficient one. The way we move -- our arm swing, cadence, step length -- is all calibrated to minimise energy consumption, allowing the body to get the maximum mileage out of the kilojoules it consumes. But in the burgeoning field of soft robotics, scientists have struggled to replicate this. Scientists imagine that one day, robotic exoskeletons could help sick kids walk and make the elderly stronger, supplying weak bodies with supplemental strength. If only those robotic exteriors could move as efficiently as a healthy human body.
Meet the world's first and only exoskeleton approved for use with both stroke patients and spinal cord injuries -- the Ekso GT from Ekso Bionics. Strapped over your clothing, the exoskeleton enables you to achieve mobility, strength, or endurance not otherwise possible.
Vodafone's network and global Internet of Things (IoT) SIM will be responsible for communicating diagnostics and improved access to patient data in the ready to wear, battery-powered robots.
Image Cache: The world's largest orthopedics event is happening right now in Leipzig, Germany. From prosthetic legs that enable people to run faster to exoskeletons that can make the disabled walk again, OT World 2016 is showcasing some of the most futuristic inventions you've ever seen. They're also creepy as hell.
Video: There's all sorts of expensive R&D facilities working frantically to make body-enhancing skeletons into actual things, but the research isn't limited just to big companies. Two years ago, a YouTuber showed off his Elysium-inspired suit curling 77kg; last weekend, he decided to lift a Mini Cooper.
The four-day International Robot Exhibition just wrapped up in Japan over the weekend, and the wild machines introduced in Tokyo, one of the world's biggest robot hubs, did not disappoint. The show attracted 450 companies and 5000 non-robotic humans. Here's a look at some of coolest from the show floor.
Twenty-five-year-old James Young, a passionate gamer, tragically lost his arm in an accident. Now one of the biggest video game companies around is working with roboticists and engineers to make James an amazing new limb inspired by one of his favourite series, and one of the greatest game franchises of all time.
The ability to augment a human's natural physical abilities with an exoskeleton -- an external wearable framework -- is one of the most intriguing areas of research in modern military science, beloved by scientists and science fiction writers alike. Now, like many other countries around the world, Australia is developing its own version.
When I say "airport", what do you think of? Pat-downs, overpriced Coors Light, screaming kids, broken sanity? In the near future, however, you could start associating air travel with robots: Airport halls may soon be filled with scuttling, helpful machines that will make flying less of a nightmare, and it's starting at a major airport near Tokyo.