The XOS exoskeleton is a powered exoskeleton, which is a powered mobile machine that is worn by a person to perform actions that could not usually be completed without the help of the machine or to protect the user from injury in a hostile environment, created by the company, Sarcos/Raytheon. It allows the user to do two hundred-pound pulldowns easily while only feeling about 10 pounds of the two hundred pounds. Lifting weight with a machine like this is a breeze with the robotic technology that is being utilized in this machine. It also increases the wearer’s reaction time.
The exoskeleton’s built in computer follows and monitor’s the precise movements of the user, borrowing the user’s behavior thousands of times per second. By doing this, the powered exoskeleton amplifies the user’s strength with the help of the robotic exoskeleton. It is powered by an external power supply via a cable.
The HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) exoskeleton, also known as HAL-5, is another powered exoskeleton that is being developed by Tsukuba University, a Japanese company.
It is a 33.0693 pound battery-powered suit that monitors the muscle movements of the user’s skin through the electrical signal flow. These signals are sent to the computer which converts it into signals for controlling the motors on the hips and knees of the powered exoskeleton, amplifying the user’s muscle strength up to 5 times their normal strength. It was designed for older work force rather than for military use. A company called Cyberdyne is currently mass-producing the suits.
It is powered by a waist-mounted 100-volt battery pack.
An updated robotsuit version was released more recently that improves the user’s mobility and enables the wearer to carry more weight. It is going to be applied in ADL support for disabled people, heavy labour support at factories, and for rescue support at disaster sites, as well as in the entertainment field.
HULC which was created by Lockheed Martin is another powered exoskeleton with 4 lithium ion batteries. It can be operated for 48-hours. It allows the wearer to travel 10-miles-per-hour while carrying 200 pounds without hardly even feeling the extra weight. This would allow the soldier to carry more equipment without more strain.
Other suits like the ExoHiker (pictured above) have been made that allow the lower-body exoskeleton to charge itself through the act of walking using regenerative force; while, at the same time, taking a load of the wearer’s back using only a few watts of power. It was created by Berkeley Bionics.
Troy Hurtubise; a Canadian inventor, outdoorsman, and martial artist, spent his entire family fortune, almost one thousand hours of construction, and twenty-years to develop what he says is a “a suit of armor that can protect the wearer against any attack.” This superhuman suit of armor looks a lot like what you might see in video games and science fiction movies. It has been called the ‘Halo suit’, after the fictional MJOLNIR battle armorMaster Chief wears in the Xbox and PC games.
Ever since he was attacked by a bear, he has been on a quest for invincibility, even consulting physicists, biologists, and zoologists about the exact amounts of force and the dangers a human would face should they be in a bear attack.
This is footage of the suit of armor that he created that was intended to protect the user from bear attacks.
This 40-pound suit, which looks something between a commando, ninja assassin, and Iron Man, is what he calls ‘The Trojan’. “It is the first full exoskeleton ballistic suit of body armor.” This suit features two magnetic hip holsters for holding a vast array of dangerous weaponry, a small detachable RC vehicle for seeing around corners or away from the user, laser-targeting sensors that are set to the user’s line of sight, a five-way-radio, a built-in voice changer, a microphone on the arm for recording last words of dying soldiers, pepper spray that can scatter a mob of at least 40 people, a solar powered air-conditioning unit, and a world clock with 20 time-zones near the crotch area. Underneath the armor itself is a substance that Troy designed called “shadow armor” that can stop any knives, bullets, shrapnel, and explosives. The materials for his armor prototypes that he has built were salvaged from his junk yard business, and composites of his own design. It is powered by helmet-mounted, solar-powered battery packs. $150,000 later, he had his own armor that could protect him from almost any attack. At 5 feet, 8 inches Troy is not a terribly tall guy, but when he wears the armored suit, he towers over everyone at 7 feet, 3 inches. His suit of armor is bulletproof, nightproof, shockproof, and bombproof full body armor.
He began hearing from friends from Iraq and Afghanistan asking if he could find a way to help them survive I.E.D.’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) while having the flexibility and lightness required for the battlefield. He began to look at his earlier designs which were based off of designs from Star Wars and Halo because he believes that the best designs come from creativity, not just engineering prowess.
He has yet to secure a contract with the military, but he has already done real-world testing. Troy has said that he could begin mass producing armor units immediately for only $15,000 dollars once he has military buyers.
He began speaking with professionals in the field including the United States Rangers, Green Berets, and Canadian Special Forces. He told them what he was making, and what they needed that should be a part of the suit. He was interrupted and they gave him numerous ideas, which he used when he went about making the design. He believed that he should speak of their needs for a suit of armor with the soldiers instead of the generals and politicians in order to ensure that his armor would succeed where large military Research and Development budgets had failed. He interviewed every soldier that had been in the war zone that he could find. He was told by a Ranger that the helmet needed to be durable against shots-to-the-head, and that it had to have a coolant system in it while working in high temperatures. A sniper told him that when they are in a ambush situations with sniper fire, only the guy in the front can see where the sniper is, and has no way to signal back the sniper’s location so that he can be taken out. So Troy designed a laser tracking system that is perfectly centered that puts a laser beam along the user’s line of a sight, so a soldier just needs to give the order. He also designed the pepper spray so that a soldier that is out of ammunition still has a way of defense and can retreat from dangerous situations. The Trojan suits represent Troy’s vision of the future soldier, which is more like a walking tank that is intimidating to the wearer’s enemies. It was also intended for use by police officers. Despite his claims concerning its protective capability, it has been criticized by some for being impractical.
He has stood up in raging bonfires, been burnt alive, beaten with baseball bats, picked fights with bears, been hit by speeding trucks, knocked down by chain-held swinging tree trunks, thrown off of cliffs, and been shot at with double-barreled shotguns and by various military grade weapons all while wearing this extremely durable armor.
Sadly, he went bankrupt after spending most of his money on the advanced suit of armor that he created. Although he did try to sell the prototype of the suit on Ebay, the auction’s reserve bid was not met.
The Lifesuit (Prototype 14) was built by Monty Reed with the idea to replace the wheelchair rather than for use in the military. Monty suffered from a severe back injury after a parachute crash and was told that he would never walk again. So he began his work on the Lifesuit. It is powered by compressed air that allows the suit to move 2.5 miles per hour. Prototype 14 (or LS14), the latest build of the Lifesuit, uses a system of compressed air that automates the process, and also allow the wearer to pick up objects that are as heavy as 200 pounds.
Three versions of the suit are currently being developed; the Home Suit, which is a type of walking wheelchair; the Rescue Suit, which aids workers at disaster sites, allowing them to lift and clear rubble with ease; and the Rehab Suit, which assists everyone from the elderly and paraplegics to train and exercise their bodies.
While the power sources of most of these machines are not portable, it is currently impossible to power such machines with the same kind of power that is necessary as Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor which is (in the first Iron Man film) a clean energy source. The ARC Reactor’s energy that is generated by his suit contains even more energy than any existing nuclear power plant. Creating a device as small and as powerful such as this one; if it existed, would solve many of the world’s power problems assuming the materials (if any) could be obtained.