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Thread: Exo-skeletons to assist hikers

  1. #1
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    Exo-skeletons to assist hikers

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56660644



    Will we need categories for FKTs?

  2. #2
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    I’m not surprised. I’ve always wondered why we have seen this technology sooner. There are lots of repetitive motion and other body movements that could be meaningfully mitigated by use of robotic assistance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    It's an extremely hard problem. There are control and feedback problems - you want to be able to lift a sledgehammer without getting tired, but still tighten a screw without smashing through the wall it's in. There are power problems - you want something for hiking, you need a battery that will last for many hours. How heavy and bulky will that be? There are material problems - the frame is going to need to be made of steel, or titanium, or carbon composite, and Lord only knows what you'll use for the actuators - potentially bulky and heavy, and/or obscenely expensive. There are heat dissipation problems from all the power you're using... By the time you've got something useful, you won't be able to wear it up the stairs in your home without crashing through them from the weight. Work is proceeding in all those areas, but don't hold your breath. Given the costs involved and the product-safety liability issues, hiking will be among the last uses. (I'd say very last, but I'm sure the military will be giving a push to a legs-only, walk-with-very-heavy-pack-for-a-long-time configuration, and if they manage to get it working, somebody will adapt it for civilian backpacking.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
    It's an extremely hard problem. There are control and feedback problems - you want to be able to lift a sledgehammer without getting tired, but still tighten a screw without smashing through the wall it's in. There are power problems - you want something for hiking, you need a battery that will last for many hours. How heavy and bulky will that be? There are material problems - the frame is going to need to be made of steel, or titanium, or carbon composite, and Lord only knows what you'll use for the actuators - potentially bulky and heavy, and/or obscenely expensive. There are heat dissipation problems from all the power you're using... By the time you've got something useful, you won't be able to wear it up the stairs in your home without crashing through them from the weight. Work is proceeding in all those areas, but don't hold your breath. Given the costs involved and the product-safety liability issues, hiking will be among the last uses. (I'd say very last, but I'm sure the military will be giving a push to a legs-only, walk-with-very-heavy-pack-for-a-long-time configuration, and if they manage to get it working, somebody will adapt it for civilian backpacking.)
    Hmmmm.....I'm a bit more positive of the potential and the arrival myself. Albeit still expensive but it's on it's way! https://youtu.be/pNdaSsAf35E
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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