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Robo-exoskeleton almost in production

Robo-exoskeleton almost in production
Robo-exoskeleton almost in production

Robotic exoskeletons have been a staple of Hollywood sci-fi since Sigourney Weaver lobbed an unfortunate Alien queen out of the hangar doors in Aliens.

Now they're one step closer to reality thanks to the splendidly sinister Raytheon Sarcos group, which has demonstrated its XOS 2 robo-suit.

The suit uses a series of hydraulics, sensors, actuators and controllers to lift heavy items, but also leaves users "agile enough to kick a soccer ball".

Iron Man and Avengers actor Clark Gregg tried the suit, and described it as "the closest thing we have at the moment to the Iron Man suit".

Plugged in

Test engineer Rex Jameson said, "the XOS 2 is more fluid and stronger, I don't feel the strength but I know I can pick up more".

Unfortunately, its achilles heel is that it needs to be tethered to a power supply - something Raytheon Sarcos is working on.

"We wanted to reduce power consumption to make it more practical for non-tethered use," said Dr. Fraser Smith, Raytheon Sarcos's vice president of operations.

Don't expect to be picking one up from Toys R Us just yet - the suit is still five years away from production, and set to be aimed predominantly at military users.