Can we build sci-fi exoskeletons, or is it just sci-fi?

So can we build it? Yes. We already did.

Is it going to be like your typical sci-fi exoskeleton/armor? No—at least not with current technology. But is it useful anyway? Yes. If you are to google ‘exoskeleton suit’, many of the first images are something out of sci-fi movies and games:

Source : Quora

There are a few major challenges that we need to overcome before we can make something like the MJOLNIR armor from Halo:

Source : Quora

The biggest and most obvious issue is power. These suits, by nature, must be able to amplify the user’s strength, otherwise it’s nothing more than heavy hunks of metal and plastic weighing down on the wearer. The problem is, current battery technology is nowhere close to make these suits truly autonomous; they ran out of power too quickly with modern batteries.

So one solution is to plug them into a power source, making it look like toy robots from the 90s. The downside is that they can only be powered as far as their cables could go, so it’s not very practical for combat.

What it is useful for, however, is for more mundane jobs, like lifting heavy things in warehouses where even if you’re not plugged, you’re never too far from spare batteries or charging ports. This arguably is going to be very important as it can significantly reduce workplace injuries and save those workers from permanent back problems later on in their lives.

Source : Quora

On a similar note, household exoskeleton can enable paralyzed and disabled people to walk again. The example down here shows a prototype of such a machine where the exoskeleton is controlled by thought.

Source : Quora

The other problem, which I think is easier to solve, is the issue of dexterity. The human body is incredibly complex. Making a machine that can mimic the whole range of human motion is pretty challenging by itself. But this is far less complex than trying to find a battery that is small enough to fit in the exoskeleton frame and power it long enough to be practically useful.

My guess is, the first users of exoskeleton won’t be combat troops. Your construction and warehouse workers would probably see them sooner. And that is not a bad thing.

So that’s it for today. Hope you have enjoyed this different and interesting topic. So share with your friends and also do check out our other posts here.

References : Quora

Kevin Joe Harris

Tech enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge and express his thoughts!

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