Exoskeleton Suits are part of our future. Raytheon’s XOS2 suit is currently in testing and development and might be heading to the front lines one day. Hollywood has already picked up on the possibility with this summer’s blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise. Now it looks like Call of Duty fans will be equiping “The Iron Man” suit to fight off bad guys.
We’ll let Wikipedia explain what they are:
A powered exoskeleton, also known as powered armor, exoframe, or exosuit, is a mobile machine consisting primarily of an outer framework (akin to an insect’s exoskeleton) worn by a person, and a powered system of motors or hydraulics that delivers at least part of the energy for limb movement.
The main function of a powered exoskeleton is to assist the wearer by boosting their strength and endurance. They are commonly designed for military use, to help soldiers carry heavy loads both in and out of combat. In civilian areas, similar exoskeletons could be used to help firefighters and other rescue workers survive dangerous environments. The medical field is another prime area for exoskeleton technology, where it can be used for enhanced precision during surgery, or as an assist to allow nurses to move heavy patients.
Working prototypes of powered exoskeletons, including XOS by Sarcos, and HULC by Lockheed Martin (both meant for military use), have been constructed but have not yet been deployed in the field. Several companies have also created exosuits for medical use, including the HAL 5 by Cyberdyne Inc.
Ekso Bionics is currently developing and manufacturing intelligently powered exoskeleton bionic devices that can be strapped on as wearable robots to enhance the strength, mobility, and endurance of soldiers and paraplegics.
Various problems remain to be solved, the most daunting being the creation of a compact power supply powerful enough to allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended periods without being plugged into external power.
SOURCE: Time Magazine