Robotics

US$1,515 will let you drive the beastly Prosthesis mech suit

US$1,515 will let you drive th...
Aspiring mech pilots can now sign up to drive the giant Prosthesis exo-mech
Aspiring mech pilots can now sign up to drive the giant Prosthesis exo-mech
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The giant Prosthesis mech at rest
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The giant Prosthesis mech at rest
The team is opening up a pilot training program with bookings through Kickstarter
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The team is opening up a pilot training program with bookings through Kickstarter
The mech weighs nearly 9,000 lb and stands nearly 13 feet tall
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The mech weighs nearly 9,000 lb and stands nearly 13 feet tall
Aspiring mech pilots can now sign up to drive the giant Prosthesis exo-mech
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Aspiring mech pilots can now sign up to drive the giant Prosthesis exo-mech
It can splash
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It can splash
The giant mech's limbs respond to the motion of the pilot's arms and legs
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The giant mech's limbs respond to the motion of the pilot's arms and legs
Those big tusks are powerful enough to pick up small cars
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Those big tusks are powerful enough to pick up small cars
The Prosthesis mech has no gyros or automated control systems. Your balance is its balance
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The Prosthesis mech has no gyros or automated control systems. Your balance is its balance
A brutal looking machine
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A brutal looking machine
At US$1,515 a pop, training sessions in the Prosthesis aren't cheap, but the mech is certainly unique
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At US$1,515 a pop, training sessions in the Prosthesis aren't cheap, but the mech is certainly unique
View gallery - 10 images

Remember the giant, human-controlled Prosthesis mech suit? We first saw the design back in 2014. It's a 4,000-kg (8,820-lb), 4-meter-tall (13-ft), chromoly steel-framed monster that uses some 170 kW (225 hp) worth of electric motors, hydraulics, springs and suspension units to move its four giant legs individually in response to the movements of a pilot's limbs.

If you get good enough at driving it, the Prosthesis can rumble along at up to 30 km/h (18.6 mph), or lift up and destroy small cars with its beefy metal tusks. It can rear back on its hind legs and pound the ground like a giant sumo wrestler. And yes, it can fall clean over too, because there's no self stabilization, gyroscopes or ECU control going on. Your balance is the mech's balance.

Indeed, the suit is designed to act purely as an extension of the wearer's body. Within its range of motion, its outer legs do what your arms do, its inner legs do what your legs do. Thanks to a feedback loop, if it encounters an obstacle that stops one of its limbs from moving, you feel it in a tactile sense, because you simply can't move your limb any further.

The Prosthesis team's eventual goal is to get some sort of race event happening, where pilots could guide these things through obstacle courses in head-to-head competition. But in order to do that, they need two things: money, and pilots.

The Prosthesis mech has no gyros or automated control systems. Your balance is its balance
The Prosthesis mech has no gyros or automated control systems. Your balance is its balance

So parent company Furrion Exobionics has opened up a Kickstarter campaign in which aspiring exosuit pilots can fork over an earlybird pledge of CA$2,000 (US$1,515) for a chance to come out to Vancouver and do a training session in the big mech itself (usual crowdfunding caveats apply).

This will occur at the team's "Mech Ranch" in British Columbia, over the course of a day, although it appears there may be several others there with you on the day and seat time may be limited. Still, each pilot will be taken through a series of drills and exercises to familiarize them with the control scheme and give them a feel for the giant robot, and if you feel like crushing something less than a meter (3.3 ft) cubed in size, you can bring it along and mech-stomp it to bits.

At US$1,515 a pop, training sessions in the Prosthesis aren't cheap, but the mech is certainly unique
At US$1,515 a pop, training sessions in the Prosthesis aren't cheap, but the mech is certainly unique

It's a remarkable, if cumbersome-looking machine. Piloting it will be a heck of an opportunity and the selfies will be forever. Check out a video below.

Prosthesis: Mech Racing | Alpha Mech Pilot Program

Source: Prosthesis Mech Racing

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
paul314
Does collecting a kickstarter pledge count as essential travel?
Username
This hardly fits in the definition of prosthesis
lucius
Why do the video demonstrations of such mechanical monstrosities so often show them trampling through wilderness areas, crushing life under their path? Isn't it enough that we're already destroying the planet in countless other ways?
bart
In the Netherlands we have our own Beast, but look at the way the legs are working
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U02qqB-2nbs