Exoskeletal Rundown

This Week In Technology

Exoskeletons seem to be everywhere I turn these days.  

Engadget has posted several stories in the last week about independently powered exoskeletons.  

The first came a few days ago with a story about the ominously named Japanese corporation Cyberdyne's new HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) suit.  The suit appears to be primarily geared towards heavy lifting.  Cyberdyne claims the suit will increase a users strength by ten times.  This is also one of the rare exoskeleton suits I've seen that use nerve impulse readers to operate, rather than a push/pull interface or joystick.  The suit uses pads that read the biosignals generated for muscle movement and interprets them into the movements of the suit.  The HAL suit will set a wearer back a cool $4200.  Which, honestly, considering that this thing could allow someone to lift a car, single-handedly, is kinda affordable.

And just the other day was this post shows a device more geared toward assistive living, rather than enhancement.  This particular product is from Honda is designed to help people walk.  Let the video speak for itself:

Bruce Sterling mentions an exoskeletal work suit called 'boneware' in his new novel The Caryatids.

And let's not forget the most famous exoskeletal suit of all:

Ripley's Power Loader from Aliens