Don’t you sometimes wish you could just run faster, jump higher or simply be stronger? Sure, you could exercise to reach your goals, OR you could try on this insane robot suit from Harvard’s Biodesign Lab. Once you do, however, good luck convincing yourself to take it off.
The robotic exosuit is a soft piece of equipment that enhances your natural mobility. It only works on the waist down (for now) but once you put it on and attach the battery pack, it will gradually adjust to supplement your own muscle power by up to 20%. That means you’ll move lighter and quicker and feel stronger. Unfortunately, as soon as you turn the system off, your legs immediately feel heavy because they’ve adapted to the assistance.
It works by mimicking the actions of your leg muscles when you walk, adding in timed assistance for ankle and hip joints without restricting movement. The applied force is distributed evenly across the body to assist with natural movement, rather than direct it.
The suit is intended to help soldiers and firefighters who might have to carry heavy loads in their line of work. It could also help stroke victims recover their movement, be used in physical therapy or just help out an enthusiastic hiker.
And unlike other robotics on the market, this suit isn’t heavy or rigid. While this means it can’t provide the kind of support that could, for example, help someone with paralysis walk again, it’s extremely lightweight, flexible and easy to wear subtly under clothing for people who need smaller levels of assistance.
No word yet on when (if ever) these suits will be available to the public. For now check it out in action below.
Would you wear this robotic suit? What would you use it to help you out with? Tell us in the comments below.