NASA's X1 Robotic Exoskeleton For Astronauts

X1 is a robotic exoskeleton intended for use by astronauts. The device was developed by NASA using technology from Robonaut 2, its teleoperated space station robot.


(X1 exoskeleton from NASA)

The 57-pound, ten-degrees-of-freedom X1 exoskeleton is a joint venture between NASA and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) that you strap to the sides of both legs like a pair of giant, flexible splints and secure to your body with a harness that runs up the back and over the shoulders. NASA says it has four motorized joints at the hips and knees and six more motor-free that allow wearers to turn, step sideways or flex their feet.

The X1 suit owes a debt to Robonaut 2, the second-gen iteration of NASA “dexterous humanoid robot” project, a 330-pound automaton harboring a whopping 350 sensors and 38 PowerPC processors that’s capable of moving four times faster and with much greater dexterity than the original 410-pound Robonaut.

Get a closer look at the X1 exoskeleton in the following video.


(X1 exoskeleton video)

X1 is a ten degree of freedom robotic exoskeleton designed and built as a collaboration between the NASA Johnson Space Center and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC).

Like other exoskeletons on the market, the potential of X1 extends to other applications such as rehabilitation, gait modification and offloading large amounts of weight from the wearer. Preliminary studies by IHMC have shown the X1 to be more comfortable and easier to adjust and put on than their previous exoskeletons.

Science fiction writers evolved the idea of robotic exoskeletons from the needs of space explorers to stand up and move around in heavy gravity. In his 1932 classic A Conquest of Two Worlds, Edmond Hamilton described an early version of the exoskeleton idea:

The greatest difficulty, Crane saw, was Jupiter's gravitation... Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor which would support the interior human structure against Jupiter's pull.
(Read more about rigid metallic clothing)

John W. Campbell extended this idea in his 1938 story The Brain Pirates, describing special lifting suits:

"We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets, so that'll protect us from the weight, if what our instruments say about that world's true..."

"I'll go check up on those suits and make some adjustments. I hadn't thought they'd have to handle any double-gravity worlds."

"... may I suggest that you make sure you don't get those drive-units in the suits backward? I'd hate to have them sit on me as well as a doubled gravity..."
(Read more about Campbell's atomic-powered lifting suits)

I'd also like to point out that I've turned comments back on and the contact form is also open.

Via Techland.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/15/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...' - Jack Williamson, 1933.

Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars
'That gives it complete isolation.' - David H. Keller, 1932.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.' - Hal Clement, 1956.

Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
'So Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.' - Nat Schachner, 1937.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.