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NASA Envisions Ironman-Like Exoskeleton For Walking

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.

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  • amuffin
    Now we just need to add repulsor rays..........
    Reply
  • Gundam288
    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)
    Reply
  • lockhrt999
    ^ They are called DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA
    Reply
  • greghome
    was kinda disappointed to see the picture in the article.......
    was expecting the Mark 3 and above......or the War Machine :P
    Reply
  • echondo
    Kinda looks like the Portal gear...
    Reply
  • RealJames
    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
    Reply
  • Onikage
    reminds me of Mr Weyland used on its way to meet his maker
    Reply
  • Gundam288
    lockhrt999^ They are called DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPANo, 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.
    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    it's missing something, the ironman power core =P
    Reply
  • manofchalk
    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.
    Reply