The Activelink Power Loader suit to become a reality

The Activelink Power Loader su...
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Science-fiction is well on the way to becoming science fact with engineers from Activelink, a Kyoto-based subsidiary of Panasonic, developing an exoskeleton suit inspired by the "Power Loader" suit Ripley wore in her climactic battle with the Queen Alien in Aliens. And, just like in the movie, the Power Loader suit is designed to give its wearer superhuman strength for the lifting of heavy objects – in the movie it was cargo, but Activelink also has construction and disaster relief operations in its sights.

The suit is constructed from an aluminum-alloy frame and weighs 230kg (507 lbs). Similar to the Robot Suit Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) we looked at earlier this year, the current version of the new suit contains 18 electromagnetic motors, which are controlled by components that measure the direction and magnitude of the force applied by the human operator. These motors allow the human operator to easily lift loads of 100kg (220 lbs), and the control system also provides force feedback to directly feel the behavior of the suit. Activelink says this allows the user to establish a correspondence between his own operation and the movement of the robot.

The Power Loader suit is currently in development, but Activelink has plans to release a version of the robot suit to the market by the 2015.

Source: Pink Tentacle

Power Loader

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imagine a construction crew made of guys in these suits. one would think you could simply pay fewer people and reduce the cost of projects at the very least. at the very most, a transformative technology like this could make it so easy for 2 man teams to build a house that you basically would change the entire economic balance of the construction industry in society , freeing up massive amount of people for other types of work. or, rendering unemployable a large segment of strong and not too intellegent men, or ......making them available for rugged work in locations robots could not access.
The real reason a suit like this is desirable has to do with the placement of the operator. With forklifts, cranes and shovels, the operator is in a cab often unable to directly observe the valuable cargo. Damage to the cargo can easily occur when the operator misjudges the angle or force necessary to lift move or release a container. Giving an operator a powerful lifting waldo allows the operator to directly observe cargo, machine and the entire process from acquisition, transport and offload. Yes suits like this will offer cost savings by increasing the productivity of the operator but the real improvement is in the speed of movement. The operator is able to more quickly address a move and is less likely to cause damage due to obstructed vision.
Ethan Brush
I foresee a problem with using this for construction: you can\'t fit through a doorway.
Karsten Evans
Doorway? Make your own. hehe.. If Aliens had used this tech... don\'t think the ending would be the same. Can\'t see this on shelf for decades.
Cost ?