Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

NASA Envisions Ironman-Like Exoskeleton For Walking

By - Source: NASA | B 18 comments
Tags :

Exoskeletons have fascinated us at least since the first two Alien movies in which Ellen Ripley commands a power loader robot.

More recently we may think of Tony Stark as Iron Man wearing robotic suit. NASA said that it uses the same idea, albeit with a different intention. The X1 robotic exoskeleton won't lift heavy cargo boxes and it won't provide superpowers. Instead it is intended to be an exercise device for astronauts in space.

The X1 is worn over the legs and is tied to a harness that stretches over the shoulder of a person. There are motorized joints at the hips and the knees, and passive joints that allow for sidestepping, turning and pointing, and flexing a foot. The total weight is about 57 pounds. For now, NASA envisions the X1 to be a device to keep space crews in good shape while on extended missions to an asteroid or possibly to Mars.

However, the model could also work down here on Earth, NASA said, and help individuals to walk. "It's exciting to see a NASA-developed technology that might one day help people with serious ambulatory needs begin to walk again, or even walk for the first time," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program. "That's the sort of return on investment NASA is proud to give back to America and the world."

The X1 exoskeleton was developed by NASA in collaboration with The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition as well as engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems in Houston.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Discuss
Display all 18 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 7 Hide
    amuffin , October 22, 2012 7:16 AM
    Now we just need to add repulsor rays..........
  • 0 Hide
    Gundam288 , October 22, 2012 7:21 AM
    I could see this being used on earth. I know of a few people who's lives would be SOOO much easier with something like this.

    And I do beleave something like this is currently under trials for the United States Military. (Can't recall the name of it)
  • 2 Hide
    lockhrt999 , October 22, 2012 8:41 AM
    ^ They are called DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA
  • 5 Hide
    greghome , October 22, 2012 8:43 AM
    was kinda disappointed to see the picture in the article.......
    was expecting the Mark 3 and above......or the War Machine :p 
  • 6 Hide
    echondo , October 22, 2012 8:44 AM
    Kinda looks like the Portal gear...
  • 0 Hide
    RealJames , October 22, 2012 8:53 AM
    Oops ... was already logged in xD

    Anyways, i can easily imagine a 300lb obese you-know-which-nationality person just destroying this thing under their own body weight, or not being able to even wear it cuz it doesn't fit

    Astronauts and athletes are just about the only people in that country who could wear it as it is in that picture, oh and some actors
  • 0 Hide
    Onikage , October 22, 2012 8:58 AM
    reminds me of Mr Weyland used on its way to meet his maker
  • 0 Hide
    Gundam288 , October 22, 2012 9:21 AM
    lockhrt999^ They are called DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA

    No, I was talking about what it's called, not who is testing/making/using them. I know what DARPA is and what they do. =/

    It differs a bit in design from the one that NASA is trying. The military one isn't as complex. It's mainly ment to help take some of the weight off you and allow you to carry more, while this NASA one looks to help you move around without or very little weight.

    Edit: I found it. It's called "Human Universal Load Carrier" or HULC for short and it's made by Lockheed Martin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y1CeBOWm67A

    As you can see it's slimmer and this new X1 is more than likely based off of the HULC's tech.
  • 0 Hide
    neon neophyte , October 22, 2012 11:38 AM
    it's missing something, the ironman power core =P
  • 5 Hide
    manofchalk , October 22, 2012 11:41 AM
    echondoKinda looks like the Portal gear...

    Exact same feeling. Soon as I saw it, the Long Fall boot came to mind.

    Meanwhile in Japan, Cyberdyne is making a robotic suit named HAL.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cyberdyne-robot-hal-exoskeleton,18571.html
    Its only a matter of time now. These technologies will combine and obliterate us all.
  • 2 Hide
    fuzzion , October 22, 2012 12:04 PM
    I wonder if sex would be more or less awesome with it? O.0
  • 3 Hide
    adarshv , October 22, 2012 1:26 PM
    Huh. My first thought was 'less like Ironman, more like a Storm Trooper'. Maybe it's the colour? :) 
  • 2 Hide
    snowzsan , October 22, 2012 2:48 PM
    RealJamesOops ... was already logged in xDAnyways, i can easily imagine a 300lb obese you-know-which-nationality person just destroying this thing under their own body weight, or not being able to even wear it cuz it doesn't fitAstronauts and athletes are just about the only people in that country who could wear it as it is in that picture, oh and some actors


    I'm guessing you're a better person though, right? Too bad you've never heard the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!" but I guess where you're from (you-know-where) people are all as ignorant and stupid as you?

    Anyway, sticking to the article! It's a pretty cool advancement. Given its taken a while for tech like this to actually evolve to it's current state, though I do know of multiple projects that share a similar goal. Keep on it NASA, maybe do some joint research (no pun intended) with some of the other engineers from say Japan, etc. etc. You should have that thing kicking in no time!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 3:52 PM
    I want one, if it means I can catch and rip the limbs off of the web ad script writers and programmers that overide the red X on the upper right of a window that only should be used to close a window! Yes I am sure I would like to close this window and ignore your annoying ad! Yes I am sure I would enjoy ripping your appendages off while repeating that annoying phrase!
  • 0 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , October 22, 2012 4:53 PM
    RealJamesOops ... was already logged in xDAnyways, i can easily imagine a 300lb obese you-know-which-nationality person just destroying this thing under their own body weight, or not being able to even wear it cuz it doesn't fitAstronauts and athletes are just about the only people in that country who could wear it as it is in that picture, oh and some actors


    Has anyone told you yet today that you're a ninny? Because you are.
  • 1 Hide
    spookyman , October 22, 2012 5:36 PM
    RealJamesOops ... was already logged in xDAnyways, i can easily imagine a 300lb obese you-know-which-nationality person just destroying this thing under their own body weight, or not being able to even wear it cuz it doesn't fitAstronauts and athletes are just about the only people in that country who could wear it as it is in that picture, oh and some actors


    They already have devices for the big peoples. They are called scooters. Just visit a local wal mart and you will see lots of big people using them.
  • 0 Hide
    spartanmk2 , October 22, 2012 8:52 PM
    Doesnt Portal already incorporate this except that its for jumping and hard landings?
  • 0 Hide
    apone , October 22, 2012 10:05 PM
    amuffinNow we just need to add repulsor rays..........Proton


    LOL, I was just thinking "Here's my Sunday Best! Proton Cannon!"