A robot exoskeleton that actually works November 27, 2007Posted by Al in : cool,robots , trackback
The idea of having a robotic exoskeleton has been around for a long time (witness Aliens and many SF stories from before), but it has not yet managed to actually make it to production. One of the main flaws has been that any exoskeleton developed so far has been big, clunky and awkward to use. However, there is a new exoskeleton on the block, and it really seems to work – the video shows it’s user catching balls, punching a speedball and dancing. It looks as though the difference here is in the software, as previous exoskeletons have always had the power, but no finesse, and now the software actually allows the user to control the exoskeleton intuitively.
What’s slightly more worrying/disturbing is that there are plans for the exoskeleton to continue functioning after the user has left it. I seem to remember a number of SF stories from the Golden Age where battlesuits continued to wage war, or pursue other activities, long after their operator had left or passed away, and I wonder what kind of controls would be put in place to prevent this. Who knows, with Skynet about to be launched, maybe Terminator was not so far fetched after all.