The Edge of Tomorrow’s trailers and posters have been teasing us with fleeting glimpses of some wild looking future-technology - chief of which being the exoskeleton suits that the human soldiers don into battle.
Watching Tom Cruise in the trailer - as he runs and guns a bunch of aliens in his exo-combat-suit - we couldn’t help but wonder if real-life exoskeletons were half as cool as the ones in the movie. We talked about how the future might not be as welcoming as we thought it so here are five real-world exoskeleton developments that will prepare us for the scary future.
The first exoskeleton on our list comes from - wouldn’t you know it - Japan. Skeletonics is an unpowered exoskeleton; it is operated completely by the power or strength of its human user. Instead of motors, it uses a clever system of springs, hinges, levers and pulleys to create an ultra lightweight exo-suit, that looks suspiciously like the exoskeleton work loader that Ripley wore in Aliens.
The Skeletonics suit looks quite intimidating due to its height and size, but the main thing it augments is reach. The suit’s legs and arms can apparently add 30 to 50cm of length to the limbs of its operator, while its low weight and direct mechanical control system allow for some really impressive agility and dexterity.
You can get one from the bare-bones (pun intended) Skeletonics website if you have an extra US$50,000 (S$62,700) lying around.
Stick a protective layer over the suit and you can walk over burning coals and grab really hot potatoes on the highest shelf of an industrial oven. Then scale the technology up a little with motors, shielding and weapons - you end up with a mech from Titanfall. All this made possible from a framework of springs, pipes and aluminium that an industrious tinkerer could throw together in his living room. Ah the Japanese… can’t wait til some university there builds us a prototype Voltron.