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Power Loader Exoskeleton Inspired by Aliens

Who didn't root for Ripley when she jumped into that cool exoskeleton power loader and whooped a little bit of alien queen ass? Apparently, that whole scenario inspired Japan's Activelink to actually develop an exoskeleton suit that enables humans to easily carry up to 250 pounds of cargo using precision-guided electromagnetic motors. The drawback is that the suit weighs approximately 500 pounds.

This YouTube video shows a demonstration on how a worker performs in the Power Loader outfit. While the clip doesn't offer any English or Japanese dialogue, the demonstrator can clearly lift the suit's legs by lifting his feet, and pull a weight off the floor using the mechanical arms and clamps. But what is also obvious is that this robot suit can't stand on its own, requiring a larger metal frame and support straps keeping the machine and human upright.

Activelink's website over on Panasonic Japan actually classifies the Power Loader as a "dual-arm power amplification robot" which uses 18 electromagnetic motors and direct force feedback. "One of the characteristics is that the electromagnetic motors operated arms are mechanically directly connected with the components measuring the magnitude and direction of the force applied by the human operator, allowing the human to directly feel the behavior of the robot," the Panasonic subsidiary said.

Activelink plans to unleash the metal fury commercially sometime around 2015, just in time for the next generation of gaming consoles to appear on the market. Then again, the company should probably shoot for 2012 in case humanity needs to battle against an alien invasion.

  • smokinu
    I thought they would have done this long ago. I do however think the only reason why we have not seena suit like this is becuase the brainiacs overthink the whole idea too much. Just build one like they had in the movie. It was be a great cargo loader vs a normal fork lift for tight spots.

    As far as the weight goes. There will always be a need for counter balance when lifting stuff. They should just make a suit that you can add counterweights to like the big cranes.
    Reply
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    "The one they had in the movie" was a series of several marionette props and stop-motion models with limited functions for different shots that couldn't lift a toddler. Getting something that's created entirely in special effects in the real world really does take "brainiacs."
    And I bet the forklift is actually better because it can lift pallets straight up, for a considerable distance.
    Reply
  • sixbone
    But what is also obvious is that this robot suit can't stand on its own, requiring a larger metal frame and support straps keeping the machine and human upright.

    i think it's more they don't want their multi-million dollar prototype falling over and killing the operator more so than it requires tethering. what good is a fork lift with a tether?
    Reply
  • ssalim
    Wth, that youtube vid is gay.
    Reply
  • Ryric
    +1 for coolness

    -1 for lack of creativity
    -1 for epic fial in execution

    this is honestly not much more then a robotic arm with user control, its not standalone and less mobile then a forklift or anyother type of robotic control'd arm. The only inovation is a person standing inside the device instead of in a control room or behind it...and even that is basicly stolen from a movie.
    Reply
  • Manos
    So you put on an extra 500 pounds to carry 250? hmmm lol
    Reply
  • r0x0r
    Ryric-1 for epic fial in execution
    +1 for irony :D
    Reply
  • The US Military already has one of these developed to a point that it can support its self be worn by an operator and lift heavy loads. Last I knew it used an umbilicle power cord and that was the last hurdle to overcome. I believe that it is a joint venture with MIT out of the Army development center in Massachusetts.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    rrlundboThe US Military already has one of these developed to a point that it can support its self be worn by an operator and lift heavy loads. Last I knew it used an umbilicle power cord and that was the last hurdle to overcome. I believe that it is a joint venture with MIT out of the Army development center in Massachusetts.Yup, the US army one is definitely more mobile, but I'm not sure how they compare in ability to carry heavy loads. I think this one can hold more, but I'm only guessing.
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    ^5 +1 for the military version.
    Reply