Research

Robot exoskeleton suits that could make us superhuman

If you’ve been dreaming of strapping on your own “Iron Man” armor, you might have to wait a while longer. But revolutionary “bionic exoskeletons,” like the metal suit worn by comic book hero Tony Stark, might be closer than you think — just don’t expect to fly away in one. Exoskeleton developers working in rehabilitation are leading the way, creating wearable robotic suits that allow people with lower-body paralysis to walk upright again. Other developers are hoping to enhance users’ existing [...]

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The Exoskeletons Are Coming

Even if you lack the resources of Tony Stark, you can obtain a high-tech suit to enhance your natural abilities, or at least help you avoid a backache. Mechanical outfits, known as exoskeletons, are gaining a foothold in the real world. The Japanese company Panasonic announced recently that it will start selling an exoskeleton designed to help workers lift and carry objects more easily and with less risk of injury. The suit was developed in collaboration with a subsidiary company [...]

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An algorithm customizes exoskeletons to fit a person’s needs

  It could also help with more complex exoskeleton programming in the future. Scientists have been studying exoskeletons in nature for years, and they’ve been trying to figure out how to adapt them for human use. After all, a powered exoskeleton could change the lives of people who have mobility issues, whether due to age, injury or disease. The problem is that exoskeletons aren’t one size fits all. Adapting them to individual humans is a difficult and time-consuming process. But now, [...]

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