Tight-fitting and light exosuit aids walking and running through AI

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Engineers from Harvard University and the University of Nebraska have developed an ultra-portable exosuit that can assist the wearer while walking and running. Artificial intelligence can adjust the actuator to the user's gait. It does not matter who is wearing the device, the algorithms will figure out the proper adjustments.

Weighing in at just 5kg, the device works with the wearer's gluteal muscles to increase the torque delivered by the hip joint. Depending on whether the person is walking or running, the onboard microprocessors will adjust the assistance properly to account for the precise muscle movements required for either activity (inverted-pendulum while walking or spring-mass motion while running).

According to the team's paper published in Science, early testing of the exosuit reduced the wearer's metabolic rate by nine percent while walking and by four percent when running. A previous design offered a 17.4-percent reduction in metabolic expenditure, but could only aid in walking.

Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences notes the device has definite rehabilitation potential. However, the researchers have hopes to see it applied in other areas such as industrial work or even recreational activities such as hiking mountain trails.

"It is very satisfying to see how far our approach has come," said Conor Walsh engineering professor and founder of Harvard's Biodesign Lab. "We are excited to continue to apply it to a range of applications, including assisting those with gait impairments, industry workers at risk of injury performing physically strenuous tasks, or recreational weekend warriors."

Despite having commercial potential, the researchers did not mention commercialization plans other than the possible applications.

Image credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

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EClyde

TS Evangelist
This is worthy tech. Walking is fun but hard for many because they are breaking down physically through no fault of their own.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
If I had a heavy exosuit, I would wear it turned off so the extra weight would train my body to carry more weight - building more muscle mass.

I'd only turn it on when I was ready to fight the Avengers.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
If I had a heavy exosuit, I would wear it turned off so the extra weight would train my body to carry more weight - building more muscle mass.

I'd only turn it on when I was ready to fight the Avengers.
You can already buy a weight vest for about $100. This kind of weight training doesn't put on much muscle mass though, it's mostly dense lean muscle.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
You can already buy a weight vest for about $100. This kind of weight training doesn't put on much muscle mass though, it's mostly dense lean muscle.

The whole point of an exosuit is to give you abilities beyond what man is capable of. Lift more weight...carry more weight for longer distances, etc. I would use it to build my own muscles and then turn it on when the cops start some ****.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
The whole point of an exosuit is to give you abilities beyond what man is capable of. Lift more weight...carry more weight for longer distances, etc. I would use it to build my own muscles and then turn it on when the cops start some ****.
In all likely hood, if you can afford an exosuit the cops certainly can. Can't wait for the fully armored swat exosuits lol.
 
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GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
The whole point of an exosuit is to give you abilities beyond what man is capable of. Lift more weight...carry more weight for longer distances, etc. I would use it to build my own muscles and then turn it on when the cops start some ****.
In all likely hood, if you can afford an exosuit the cops certainly can. Can't wait for the fully armored swat exosuits lol.
Until the US army fields theirs a lot, I doubt cops will have them, most info on the army variants went quiet a few years ago so It's prob abandoned or under more intense development and field testing. I don't really see a need for SWAT to have these very often, they don't have to cover the distance on foot that soldiers would be asked to do, and there equipment load will be lighter since they arn't carrying tools and food for survival for a 24 hour time period.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Until the US army fields theirs a lot, I doubt cops will have them, most info on the army variants went quiet a few years ago so It's prob abandoned or under more intense development and field testing. I don't really see a need for SWAT to have these very often, they don't have to cover the distance on foot that soldiers would be asked to do, and there equipment load will be lighter since they arn't carrying tools and food for survival for a 24 hour time period.
Remember, this is with the assumption that we are at a point in the future were even a regular person can afford them. From holding additional gear, chasing down perps, protection from gunfire, and restraining a suspect are all reasons cops would use them. The loadout can be changed depending on what an officer is being dispatched for. No police station is going to pass up an opportunity to enhance it's officer's performance in the field and reduce the chance of work related injury.
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Remember, this is with the assumption that we are at a point in the future were even a regular person can afford them. From holding additional gear, chasing down perps, protection from gunfire, and restraining a suspect are all reasons cops would use them. The loadout can be changed depending on what an officer is being dispatched for. No police station is going to pass up an opportunity to enhance it's officer's performance in the field and reduce the chance of work related injury.
Agreed. And you ever watch Live PD? There is an officer on that show that I have witnessed losing two foot chases (and I've only watched twice lol) -- walking around looking for the guy all huffing' and puffin'. He could use the model in this article for sure. :joy:
 
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