XOS 2 Raytheon Gen 2 Exoskeleton For Ironman 2

XOS 2, Raytheon's second generation robotic exoskeleton was recently unveiled during an event at the companyís Salt Lake City research facility. XOS 2 is lighter, stronger and faster - yet uses 50% less power than its predecessor XOS.


(XOS 2 breaking boards)

The wearable robotics suit is being designed to help with the many logistics challenges faced by the military both in and out of theater. Repetitive heavy lifting can lead to injuries, orthopedic injuries in particular. The XOS 2 does the lifting for its operator, reducing both strain and exertion. It also does the work faster. One operator in an exoskeleton suit can do the work of two to three soldiers. Deploying exoskeletons would allow military personnel to be reassigned to more strategic tasks. The suit is built from a combination of structures, sensors, actuators and controllers, and it is powered by high pressure hydraulics.


(Iron Man's Agent Coulson regards XOS 2)

Robotic exoskeletons have played a part in science fiction stories for decades. In his 1968 novel A Specter is Haunting Texas, science fiction writer Fritz Leiber describes specialized exoskeletons used to help human beings who grew up under microgravity conditions survive on the Earth's surface:

This truly magnificient, romantically handsome, rather lean man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates. From the outer edge of each rose a narrow titanium T-beam that followed the line of his leg, with a joint (locked now) at the knee, up to another joint with a titanium pelvic girdle and shallow belly support. From the back of this girdle a T-spine rose to support a shoulder yoke and rib cage, all of the same metal. The rib cage was artistically slotted to save weight, so that curving strips followed the line of each of his very prominent ribs.

...The motors were controlled by myoelectric impulses from his ghost muscles transmitted by sensitive pickups buried in the foam-padded bands.
(Read more about the titanium exoskeleton)

Via Raytheon press release; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/27/2010)

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