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Exoskeletons have long been the things of science fiction. But many private companies and public organizations are currently designing and building them for a variety of applications.
From helping the disabled to walk once again to building the super-soldiers of the future, exoskeletons are shaping up to be a very real part of our lives in years to come. Here then are some of the most interesting uses of exoskeletons from around the world.
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What are some great uses of exoskeletons from around the world?
So, without further ado, here are some interesting uses of exoskeletons from around the world. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. A Nike-backed company are developing an exoskeleton wearable that makes you faster
Nike-backed researchers invent a wearable ankle "exoskeleton" that makes running 14 percent easier compared to normal running shoes. The invention is likely years from hitting the market, but it could eventually keep people running later in life or amid … https://t.co/O5WKDe1Bun
— Tsuki (@Tsuki_) March 31, 2020
An exoskeleton development company back by Nike is producing a wearable that will, they say, help make wearers faster. The company's "exoskeleton" is actually a wearable ankle device that should increase running speed and efficiency by as much as 14%.
"People report that it feels effortless — like you are soaring and flying," Steve Collins, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University, said in an interview.
2. This exoskeleton wouldn't look out of place in "Aliens"
Exoskeleton doing a 3 person task from r/EngineeringPorn
This amazing exoskeleton appears to have been inspired by the powerlifters featured in the sci-fi classic "Aliens". They even demonstrate its usability by lifting a missile onto a rack.
Let's just hope bioengineers don't develop a real Xenomorph to match.
3. This company are currently trialing an exoskeleton to help manual laborers
ULS Robotics is a Chinese company specialising in powered exoskeleton suits to aid manual laborers. The company is now trialing a suit for delivery people, which will let workers stack packages on their backs to make even more efficient deliveries https://t.co/7QMDsIPAmXpic.twitter.com/XTYMqoxL2r— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) April 22, 2020
A Chinese tech company, ULS Robotics, have developed and are currently trialling their new exoskeleton suit. It has been specially designed to help manual laborers perform their tasks with ease.
4. This exoskeleton-come-wheelchair is designed to help the disabled
The Laddroller is a hybrid wheelchair with 4-wheel drive that literally elevates a person with a functional disability into a standing position with posture adjustment. By combining an “exoskeleton with a powered wheelchair,” the disabled can have more mobility and independence. pic.twitter.com/JUZ6mmdPEg
— Tech That Matters (@realtechmatters) April 24, 2020
Called the "Laddroller" this amazing hybrid between an exoskeleton and a wheelchair might just be the future for the disabled. It is 4-wheel drive in wheelchair mode but is specially designed to help the user "stand" using its posture adjustment feature.
5. Meet one of the world's first "Racing Mechs"
This 8,000-pound exoskeleton is the world's first racing "mech" pic.twitter.com/HIrVGnIFN1— Shakthi Vadakkepat (@v_shakthi) April 26, 2020
This amazing exoskeleton, or should we really call it a mech, is the world's first designed for racing, according to its creators. Called "Prosthesis", it weighs an amazing 8,000 pounds (3,629 kgs).
6. This relatively simple exoskeleton is helping paralyzed people walk again
This amazing exoskeleton is helping people with paralysis walk again pic.twitter.com/XwEnYhobGf— Mashable (@mashable) April 27, 2020
Another great use for exoskeletons is to help those who have lost the use of their own legs. Such initiatives give back the wearer's freedom, mobility, and self-esteem.
7. This amazing exoskeleton helps the disabled skin up mountains
— HofSwitzerland (@HofSwitzerland) April 24, 2020
Called "TWIICE", this amazing exoskeleton has been adapted to help the disabled to skin up mountains. This device will certainly open up a whole new world to those who have trouble even walking.
8. This hand "exoskeleton" can be controlled with your mind
— Fabrizio Bustamante (@Fabriziobustama) April 24, 2020
Scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are attempting to develop a special "exoskeleton" for the hand that can be controlled using the wearer's brainwaves.
9. The U.S. Army is currently developing a special exoskeleton to build "super-soldiers"
The U.S. Army is investing millions of dollars in experimental exoskeleton technology to build 'super-soldiers' https://t.co/ksCYEHsySWpic.twitter.com/h3N99D9MI2— Reuters (@Reuters) November 30, 2018
Many armed forces around the world are also beginning to experiment with exoskeletons. One such is the United States Army who is hoping to build so-called "super-soldiers" with them.
10. This Indian designer has built his own exoskeleton to help "fight terrorism"
This Indian patriot has designed an ‘exoskeleton’ to help the army ‘fight terrorism’. The 9V battery is my fave bit. https://t.co/XgX7Jzsj54
— Siobhan Heanue (@siobhanheanue) October 26, 2019
An engineer in India decided to design and build their very own anti-terrorism exoskeleton. Featuring a 9v battery and various "aggressive" features, this is an excellent DIY effort.
Though its efficacy in the heat of battle is probably questionable.
11. This expandable exoskeleton is designed to help disabled children walk
This amazing exoskeleton has, like many others, been designed to help the disabled restore some sense of mobility to their lives. The exception is that this one is specifically designed for children and can "grow" with them as they age.
12. This exoskeleton has been designed to help firefighters tackle blazes
A.F.A. is A Powered Exoskeleton Suit for Firefighter http://t.co/ds9n8fVBkU via @tuvie_design#conceptdesign#beautypic.twitter.com/8Lv8n5xcLI— Aaron O'Neill (@_aoneill_) January 9, 2015
A special exoskeleton concept has been developed to help firefighters in their dangerous task to fight fires. Built using lightweight materials like titanium, it also incorporates various firefighting equipment.
13. This exoskeleton has been designed to help construction workers
This bionic exoskeleton vest can help reduce fatigue and injury for construction workers pic.twitter.com/caKfhOocWl— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) October 27, 2019
This very special exoskeleton has been designed to help construction workers reduce fatigue and injury in the workplace. By literally taking the weight off their shoulders, exoskeletons like this are likely to be the future of many a construction site around the world.
14. This exoskeleton has been designed to help people climb stairs
ReWalk has built a stair-climbing exoskeleton, enabling a paralyzed man to walk again ; https://t.co/eH4k6VROK7pic.twitter.com/KNeHsQdtKP— Oscar D Cabot (@oscarcabot) October 4, 2016
This specially designed exoskeleton has been designed to help people climb stairs. Primarily designed for anyone who is paralyzed, it could also help the old overcome the obstacle of staircases too.
15. This exoskeleton has been designed to help lift luggage at airports
If this new exoskeleton would avoid staff massively throwing luggage over conveyor belts in airports, I support it right away!!! https://t.co/kI67s3Fs76— Luiz F Duque (@lfduke) April 16, 2017
And finally, this exoskeleton has been designed to help workers at airports move around heavy luggage. This not only saves time but would also provide a safer working environment for staff and your things.