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Watch This Guy Lift Weight Effortlessly Using His Exoskeleton

This invention from Robo-Mate could make manufacturing jobs easier.
June 23, 2015, 7:00pm
Image: Franhofer

The image of exoskeletons being used to make humans stronger is nearly ubiquitous in science fiction. Now, a team of European engineers have demonstrated a prototype that shows we're getting closer to realizing this invention in the real world.

Two weeks ago at Fraunhofer IAO, a technology consulting firm based in Stuttgart, Researchers unveiled a significant step in the development of this field. In this video, Moritz Hämmerle, a director at Fraunhofer, demonstrates a prototype of the Robo-Mate. The exoskeletal frame follows Hämmerle's movement through a variety of spontaneous poses—an advancement over the jerky movement of past versions.

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The system is comprised of arm modules that support the majority of weight lifted; leg modules that assist with lifting and can provide support when in a squatting stance; and a core module that supports the spine and keeps it straight.

Robo-Mate is aimed at combatting the 44 million cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the EU. According to the group, the Robo-mate reduces weight load to one tenth, allowing for greater efficiency and workplace safety.

Engineers continue to make advancements in developing exoskeletal body modifications, and

those found in nature are inspiring roboticists to strengthen their own creations in new ways. While exoskeletons already exist for military and rehabilitation purposes, Fraunhofer says this is the first being built specifically for manufacturing.

It's not necessarily fending off an Alien Queen, but as anyone who's ever slipped a disk will tell you, it's a step in the right direction.