Robotic exoskeletons are a hot area of development right now, with potential uses including renewed mobility for paraplegics, clearing debris after a disaster, and even aiding astronauts in space. The Perceptual Robotics Laboratory (PERCRO) in Italy has designed a robotic exoskeleton that they claim is currently the most advanced model in the world.
PERCRO’s Body Extender is able to lift an astonishing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) in each hand. While this could be used in manufacturing facilities, it could also be used by first responders to find survivors in disaster zones. It has been designed to be rugged and maintain its balance on rough terrain (such as rubble created by an earthquake or tornado), which is a feature that most other exoskeletons are not able to offer.
In addition to strength, the exoskeleton has incredible functionality as well. The four limbs have a total of 22 degrees of freedom on the suit, meant to mimic fluid human motion. This will give the user an unprecedented amount of freedom and control.
Currently, the Body Extender still needs to be tethered to a power source, meaning that it is not yet ready to be used out in the field. This technology has incredible potential for anyone to strap in and adopt Iron Man-like strength so they can step up and help others during times of crisis.
Check out how it works here: