From construction workers to Iron Man? Probably not anytime in the near future. From construction workers to Aliens Ridley Scott? We’re getting there!
Okay, so this exoskeleton is a dramatically slimmed down version of Scott’s Exo Power Loader, weighing only 16 pounds, but the engineers at Esko Bionics used the idea of the iconic cargo loader as a model for their new exoskeleton designed for construction professions. The exoskeleton makes holding heavy power tools feel nearly weightless. However, unlike a majority of the exosuits that we see on the big screen, the Esko Works Industrial Exoskeleton is completely analog.
“A human being uses about 10 watts just standing around, and 1 kilowatt working, according to Ekso. No battery can keep a suit going all day long with that output.”
“The industrial exoskeleton doesn’t care about that, though. It’s unpowered, relying instead on counterweights and a standard, sprung arm used on image-stabilizing steadicams. The trick is the carbon fiber harness and metal-tube frame running down a user’s legs. It translates the weight of whatever’s on the end of the arm down through the suit and into the ground.”
However, just because the 40 pound grinder you’re holding onto feels weightless doesn't mean you’re not going to feel the effects of inertia when you move the grinder away from your body. The suit does take some getting used to.
Check out this video of Wired reporter Adam Rogers and Esko Bionics CTO Russ Angold testing the exoskeleton.
Esko Bionics began designing powered exosuits for the US military in 2005, however they are more well known for their detour into the world of physical therapy when they created a powered walking suit to help people who have suffered from paralysis. Time magazine put the walking suit on their “50 Best Inventions of 2010” list.
Read the full story on Wired.