Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology demonstrated a prototype wearable assistance machine equipped with eight motors and 16 sensors. The 25-kilogramme (55-pound) device is designed to assist elderly farmers who need support for their leg muscles and joints when they keep a crouching position or lift their arms high.
I wonder how long it’ll be before stuff like this starts putting the wheelchair manufacturers out of business. What
then with all those legislation enforced widened doorways, access ramps, disabled toilets?
Then there’s the other developments of a slightly more worrying nature. There’s no doubt that we’re living in a science fiction world. Watch out for Iron Man coming your way soon.


Anonymous said...

Power is always the problem with any sort of mobile technology.

Well that and getting up if you fall over.

Fuel cells might give them a start with direct oxidation of hydrogen or methanol to electricity.

Super capacitors might be another.

The microtok inside Mr Crane might be a while off yet.

Bring on the mechs!

Kirby Uber said...

'm waiting for the cyber-cock.

what, you weren't thinking it?

Neal Asher said...

Olaf, I think on the military exoskeleton link, if you go down the page, there's a robot that doesn't fall over so much. Balance is a problem that can be solved. The power issue is certainly a problem. It's one that, if solved, is going to lead to some huge advances. Must do a few searches on that.

Nope, Kirby, I wasn't. The one I've got has got quite enough of a mind of its own, thanks.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

"Balance is a problem that can be solved."

i.e. segueway gyroscopes.

cue forklift "bitch" scene from Aliens 2.

Kirby Uber said...

hmm i can see where the AI driven cyber-cock would likely have issues long term.

the silent war, in this case wouldn't be so silent, eh?

because of the weeping.

i'll stop now.