Exosceletons etc.

At the time being we are working on a very special project, where our inspiration have been ranging from old deep water diving suits, to exosceletons and human anatomy.

“- The first exoskeleton was co-developed by General Electric and the United States military in the 1960s, named Hardiman, which made lifting 250 pounds (115 kg) feel like lifting 10 pounds. It was impractical due to its 1,500 pound (680 kg) weight.[1]

- Many variations of exoskeletons can be found in science fiction and gaming. It was first popularized in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 novel Starship Troopers as powered armor used by the Mobile Infantry.

- Exoskeletons could also be regarded as wearable robots: A wearable robot is a mechatronic system that is designed arou

nd the shape and function of the human body, with segments and joints corresponding to those of the person it is externally coupled with. Teleoperation and power amplification were said to be the first applications, but after recent technological advances the range of application fields is said to have widened. Increasing recognition from the scientific community means that this technology is now employed in telemanipulation, man-amplification, neuromotor control research and rehabilitation, and to assist with impaired human motor control”

- In addition to heightened strength and protection provided by the exoskeleton, other popular features include internal life support for hostile environments, protection from environmental hazards such as radiation and vacuum, weapons targeting systems, firearms affixed directly to the suit itself, and transportation mechanisms that allow the wearer to fly, make giant leaps, or speed by on ground.

In some portrayals of powered armor, the suit is not much larger than a human. These depictions can be described as a battlesuit with mechanical and electronic mechanisms designed to augment the wearer’s abilities. Other power armors are portrayed as being much larger, more like a bipedal vehicle the size of a tank or much larger. These latter are frequently termed Mecha, from the Japanese “メカ” (meka), an adaptation of the

English “mechanical”. The line between mecha and power armor is necessarily vague. The usual distinction is that powered armor is form-fitting and worn; mecha have cockpits and are driven,[1] or that powered exoskeletons augment the user’s natural abilities, whilst mechas replace them entirely. However, the line between the two can be difficult to determine at times, especially considering that force feedback systems are often included for delicate maneuvers. Even in a larger mecha meant to be driven like a walking tank rather than worn, a realistic control system would have to be either cybernetic or form-fitting.”

( Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeletons_in_fiction )