While robot exoskeletons of the future might be useful in creating super-soldiers for intense combat, the technology doesn’t quite seem to be a science fiction levels just yet. But that doesn’t mean that science reality is much less interesting. Hyundai just announced in a blog post (via Laughing Squid) that they have built a powered wearable robot exoskeleton that ups the strength of its user.
Details are scant in Hyundai’s post, but they do enthusiastically compare it to Iron Man‘s suit, and it’s also totally comparable to the powered exoskeletons featured in movies like Edge of Tomorrow and Elysium. Hyundai’s photos show the exoskeleton being worn as a sort of mechanical backpack with arms and legs, that also has button-triggered, robotic, grabbing vices.
Once this technology is at the point where it is more widely available, it should have a myriad of potential uses. It could be used in the military and law enforcement, to help soldiers carry heavier items (including weapons), or perhaps to provide firefighters with increased safety and strength when navigating unstable buildings.
There are also several intriguing applications in medicine. For instance, the stability a powered exoskeleton would provide could allow for increased precision in operations, bridging the gap between traditional surgery and robotic surgery. It could also make rehabilitation for patients with spinal issues more efficient, and it could provide assistance to those who have trouble walking on their own.
Industrial workers could also take advantage of the technology to streamline the manufacturing process… look, there’s a lot that these exoskeletons can potentially do, so let us know in the comments if you can think of any amazing (or just flat-out practical) uses that we overlooked.
Have a look at the robot destruction on the new season of Battlebots.