Many insects have a distinct physical feature, an exoskeleton, that protects them from external dangers. Humans have tried to imitate and, to an extent, improve upon this quality with man-made exoskeletons. These artificial structures enhance the physical capabilities of its pilot and enable them to pull off incredible stunts.
Whether it be helping out workers perform strenuous tasks or for the sake of a sporting spectacle, exoskeletons available today fulfill various purposes. Importantly, they offer possible military uses and enable differently-abled folks overcome their limitations as well.
The aforementioned machines come in different forms and sizes. Here’s a montage showing the most spectacular exoskeletons out there.
Exoskeleton roll call
This mechanical mammoth is an exoskeleton designed for mech races. Standing 14ft above the ground and weighing in at 7000lbs, Prothesis is an imposing structure no doubt. Inside this beast, the pilot can control its actions, which include going as fast as 21mph and jumping upto 10ft in the air. Thanks to its big battery, Prosthesis can operate for 2hrs on a full charge.
2. Guardian XO
Guardian XO from Sarcos Robotics is an exoskeleton built to boost productivity and minimize injuries on the job. Although it’s much smaller than Prosthesis, it has more practical applications. It combines the power of a machine with the discerning skills of a human. Using this, a person can easily lift up to 90kgs — an extremely useful plus point for industrial work.
Coming from Japan-based firm Skeletonics, the Arrive is an exoskeleton that aims to unlock new possibilities for humans. This awe-inspiring frame, which reaches a max height of 9ft, is a combo of upper and lower body exoskeletons that work harmoniously. Interestingly, the exoskeleton uses a mirror technology to replicate human movements accurately.
This exoskeleton’s a blessing for people who have trouble using their legs due to a spinal cord injury. ReWalk is an FDA-approved wearable that comes with hip and knee motion support. Besides standing and walking on their legs, effected individuals can even turn and climb/descend stairs on their own.
5. Warrior Web
Warrior Web is an exoskeleton conceived by U.S.’s weapons research department, DARPA. This structure allows soldiers to carry a significant amount of payload for long durations without major fatigue, even on tough terrains. Essentially, the Warrior Web exists to help soldiers take more inventory with them and dial down the risk of exhaustion or injuries.
All these exoskeletons explore what a seamless augmentation of humans and machines can be. Most of them leave us impressed by redefining what all is possible. By the way, would you want to enhance your physical abilities using an exoskeleton? Tell us in the comments below.
While you are here, make sure to check out these human-powered vehicles that outshine certain motorized ones.