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Hyundai develops Iron Man-inspired exosuit

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On: Tue, May 17, 2016 at 1:59PM | By: Carl Malek

Hyundai develops Iron Man-inspired exosuit

With the newest Iron Man movie currently playing on the silver screen, having an exosuit that is just like Tony Stark's has always been a must-have item for every man's dream garage. While the technology needed to craft a suit like that is still a bit out of reach, Hyundai is working on the next best thing, and has crafted a suit of its own that can be used in a wide range of applications. 

While this particular exoskeleton does not quite match iconic wearables that have become a staple of anime and sci-fi movies, Hyundai claims that its suit would allow wearers to lift objects weighing hundreds of kilograms. The wearer would also be able to haul up to 110 pounds of gear in a system that would be similar to a conventional backpack. The suit envelops most of the wearer's lower body and encases their legs in durable-looking leg and joint pieces. The upper body is encased in a structure that is designed like a basic backpack, which appears to also house some of the basic controls for the suit. The arms of the suit are controlled by separate joysticks in each of the wearer's hands.

However, folks who think they can reenact their favorite Iron Man scenes in this suit will be disappointed to learn that Hyundai's version does not feature any form of flight technology, and was designed to be used primarily on the ground. Furthermore, Hyundai's press images suggest that its range of movement is restricted, thanks to large cables or hoses that snake their way out of the back of the suit to fixed location in the room. This restricted range of movement could be worked out in later prototypes, but for now it appears that it will be the biggest handicap in the design of the current exosuit.

This bigger suit comes on heels of the company'sunveiling ofa simpler exosuit. Unlike the bigger suit, this smaller suit, dubbed the H-LEX, is made up of simple leg and spinal supports and was crafted to help paraplegics and elderly owners regain their ability to walk and go places they would otherwise be unable to, such as steep flights of stairs.

While both of these exoskeletons in their current forms will most likely not be green-lighted for production, some of the innovations featured in these wearable suits could eventually trickle down to future innovations that could make their appearance in hospitals and other health facilities.


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