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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes Ship-builders Daewoo have been testing robotic exoskeletons in South Korean shipyards that provide the wearer with super-human strength. From the article: "The exoskeleton fits anyone between 160 and 185 centimetres tall. Workers do not feel the weight of its 28-kilogram frame of carbon, aluminium alloy and steel, as the suit supports itself and is engineered to follow the wearer's movements. With a 3-hour battery life, the exoskeleton allows users to walk at a normal pace and, in its prototype form, it can lift objects with a mass of up to 30 kilograms."
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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:24PM (#47602701)

    ..."Get away from her, you bitch" in Korean?

    • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:41PM (#47602833)

      geunyeo hanteseo tteol-eojyeo, dangsin-eun nappeun!

      I'm only posting this so that someone corrects me.

      • Re:How do you say... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Spy Handler (822350) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:06PM (#47603023) Homepage Journal

        "geunyeo hanteseo tteol-eojyeo" - "Get away from her" --> This is correct.

        "dangsin-eun nappeun!" - this is wrong, it means "You are a bad person" and it's in the polite form even.

        "Geh sek ki ya" would be more appropriate, it's a commonly used expletive meaning "dog offspring".

        • by jgtg32a (1173373)
          Does that literal translation to actually carry the same weight as the as the English word?
          • by Bugamn (1769722)
            I think it wasn't a literal translation, since the original was "you bitch" and the translation means "dog offspring", although this can be literally translated to son of a bitch, then the question is if this has the same weight. Also, he said "commonly used expletive", so I believe he knows what he talks about.
    • You laugh, but those suits were sold to a shipyard after the movie. They were used just as these are. That was in the 1980s. This is old news.
  • Only geeks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by funwithBSD (245349) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:25PM (#47602711)

    would consider lifting 30Kg to be superhuman.

    • Re:Only geeks... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:29PM (#47602739)

      Now go out and lift it once per minute for 3 hours and see how you feel.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You get to sweating a bit, and I doubt it's good for your back in the long run, but its certainly doable

        (I used to work in a freight terminal - we would load 2 or 3 trucks with 20-30 Kg packages over a 2 hour period.. and none of us were 'buff' by any stretch of the imagination).

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I used to work in a freight terminal - we would load 2 or 3 trucks with 20-30 Kg packages over a 2 hour period.. and none of us were 'buff' by any stretch of the imagination

          That's great! With this thing, however, you reduce staff loads. One trained worker could do an 8 hour shift, without stress and with (possibly) lower risk of injury, just by switching out batteries every few hour. Beats having to properly train four men to do the work and losing workers to strain injuries. If this is cost effective, who knows. Also, this is the prototype. I would assume they are interested in higher powered systems for the production system.

          So what I'm curious to see is how people ha

          • by Aereus (1042228)

            How is that any different than swinging a load around with a crane? People will just have to be careful and realize the suits can be dangerous if misused.

            • by Cyberdyne (104305) *

              How is that any different than swinging a load around with a crane? People will just have to be careful and realize the suits can be dangerous if misused.

              I think the dexterity is the key here. Yes, a crane can lift 10+ tonnes at the touch of a button/lever - once someone has attached the hook to the object. You can't just reach down and pick something up with a crane, except in very carefully controlled circumstances (like shipping containers lined up on a dockyard). Imagine a suit like this in rescue situa

          • by Quirkz (1206400)

            Ironically, the batteries weigh 40kg, and cannot be lifted by robots or humans.

            (I know, 40kg isn't actually unliftable by humans.)

          • So what I'm curious to see is how people handle moving with heavy weights, without feeling the heavy weights. Spinning around could be potentially dangerous, and dropping items could be devastating if someone were to forget the true weight of the item they held.

            Now let's all say it together...:
            We can work all that out in the software!
            Note to testing and QC departments:
            We will not be standing nearby while we work this out in software...

          • ...I would assume they are interested in higher powered systems for the production system....

            30 Kg is 66 lbs, yes? That isn't even workout range for most men under 50 who are in decent, not great, just decent shape
            So, say you, they will just get a higher capacity suit...which will weigh more, burn through batteries, spend more downtime on the joints or have much heavier joints.
            Lot of vaporware in business, LOTs
            and honestly, this sounds like vaporware with a mock-up.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Your comments could be applied to nearly every technological advance in history. If everyone saw something new and said "yeah, but it's not perfect" and gave up, where would we be?

              It's a trial. The good stuff is coming, it's not here yet. These little steps are required, and yeah, early adopters quite often get a raw deal, but they pave the way for the rest of us.

            • by EvilJoker (192907)

              That really depends on how the weight's being lifted, i.e. what muscles are being used. Lifting with the knees? No problem. Outstretched arms? Difficult. Involving twisting? Risk of injury.

              • At 66 lbs? seriously, the weight of a large printer should be an overhead push without noticeable strain, even for me, and I'm an old guy. I don't press heavy, but my regular workout is 130 for the military press. Again, the suit is not impressive as is and nothing spectacular there in the design hints at any breakthrough
                Call me when I can pick up a JT8D llow bypass turbofan engine in one hand.
                • by EvilJoker (192907)

                  That's only relevant if the object needs to be (or can be) lifted with that motion. If it needs to be lifted in a different way, it will involve different muscles. This [prevention.com] motion is especially difficult for most people. Again, if a twist is needed, that is also going to be a problem.

                  It should also be noted that OSHA's sister agency recommends no more than 35 lbs [ltlmagazine.com]. This doesn't mean most people can't do it, but that it's far more likely to lead to injury, especially if done frequently..

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          You get to sweating a bit, and I doubt it's good for your back in the long run, but its certainly doable

          (I used to work in a freight terminal - we would load 2 or 3 trucks with 20-30 Kg packages over a 2 hour period.. and none of us were 'buff' by any stretch of the imagination).

          Yeah, but how were John Henry and the steam drill doing the next morning?

        • You get to sweating a bit, and I doubt it's good for your back in the long run, but its certainly doable

          (I used to work in a freight terminal - we would load 2 or 3 trucks with 20-30 Kg packages over a 2 hour period.. and none of us were 'buff' by any stretch of the imagination).


          You are either lying or you were violating Federal workers safety regulations.
      • So, move 180 65lbs bags from point A to point B in 3 hours? That's not too hard, even for those of us who are quite out of shape. Why, just last week, my boss, who is about as out of shape as I am (and is also a geek), mixed and poured the foundation for a shed in his backyard with only his elderly father-in-law to help. Because of the sloping terrain and city codes regarding minimum foundation thicknesses, it ended up taking 96 80lbs bags. My boss was a bit tired come Monday morning, but otherwise seemed t

        • sheds.. have to live up to building codes, including a foundation? man. that's awful.

          • I think there's a different set of codes that apply to them than normal building codes, but yup, there were some codes applying to backyard sheds. Even when cities don't have codes in place, it's not uncommon for HOAs to put restrictions on their location, appearance, and construction.

            • by LoRdTAW (99712)

              Yup. I know that on Long Island in Suffolk counties town of Babylon anything with a footprint bigger than 10x10 feet is needs a concrete foundation. That concrete foundation is now a permanent structure which requires a permit and tax revaluation. So keep it small and you won't be bothered. That or live in NYC where most people don't give a damn and build whatever. Let the next homeowner worry who is probably a developer looking to knock it down and put in a 6 family with no parking anyway.

          • by gmhowell (26755)

            'shed' covers a lot of ground, linguistically.

        • by jcoy42 (412359)

          Because of the sloping terrain and city codes regarding minimum foundation thicknesses, it ended up taking 96 80lbs bags

          96 80lb bags would only cover 115 square feet at 6". And if it's a slope, it would have to be smaller than 10x10. Where do you live where they have building requirements for such a small shed? In AZ, you don't have to care at all until you go over 200 square feet.

          • He's in College Station, TX. I believe it was a 9x9, with it being 4" at its thinnest, 8" or so at its thickest, if I remember what he said correctly. It's possible he applied codes that weren't necessary, I suppose, since I admittedly haven't looked into the codes myself, and am merely repeating what I heard from him.

        • by swillden (191260)

          I just think you could have chosen a better time frame than 3 hours.

          Well, after three hours the suit battery is dead.

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        once per minute for 3 hours

        [citation needed]

      • by Khyber (864651)

        Once per minute? Try twice per minute, working boxes of olive oil, for a twelve hour shift.

        I'm 180cm ~70 kilograms and can do it all day with lumbosacral arthritis, a rebuilt wrist, and half of my right leg replaced internally. What's your excuse?

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        Are you kidding? The people that tie steel for a living are lifting more than 50lbs at a time for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I'd bet better than 10% of our populations is constantly lifting and moving that kind of weight around pretty much continuously for their entire career.

        What are you, a basement dwelling virgin who can barely lift 10lbs?

        The only time 50 or even 100lbs should be a problem is if the shape is awkward (too long and wide, etc), the edges are sharp or the center of mass and shape make it a

      • Take a good look at the photo that accompanies the linked article:

        http://www.newscientist.com/da... [newscientist.com]

        There's clearly no support for the hands. The thumbs of the worker modeling the exoskeleton are clearly visible above the presumably heavy metal object that's actually being lifted by a a crane-like contraption that loops over his shoulders. The worker is only using his hands to stabilize the object.

        Power suit this isn't. So no Ironman here yet.

      • You have obviously never done multi-drop deliveries.
      • by vlad30 (44644)

        Now go out and lift it once per minute for 3 hours and see how you feel.

        True however family business is construction a little experience here

        aside from OHS concerns where everything comes in maximum 20Kg packages (Australian OHS rules noticed some stuff from the US is 25Kg) 25 years ago most of these packages came in 40Kg particularly cement

        moving 20-40Kg at a time with a little practice and the right food you can do this all day and you won't like like a steroid taking gym junkie which BTW are useless at this kind of work

        What I can see this helping with if they do get it to

      • by JakeBurn (2731457)

        Whoever modded you up as Insightful has never done any real manual labor. I worked at Home Depot for a few years and had to fill in as a loader a few times. That's hundreds of bags of concrete on to carts for people every day,(or 10 skids, 42 bags per pallet in a six hour shift). That's 80lbs, (36-37 kg), over and over, all day long. And reading TFA really didn't give any kind of impression that they were being used as often as that. While the idea of the exoskeleton has been awesome since Ripley first jump

    • Average weight of a south Korean male is 70kg, so almost 43% of their body weight. I agree though, wimpy. I can't imagine bothering to put it on. Even if it's additive to your current strength, it would be a waste of time. If you are constantly moving stuff that heavy you could do it faster with a forklift. If you are constantly moving lighter stuff you can do it faster without the suit.
    • Re:Only geeks... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:41PM (#47602829)

      would consider lifting 30Kg to be superhuman.

      And from TFA the target is 100kg Try lifting *that* more than a few times and see how you go.

      I feel sorry for you that the amazing super-strength exoskeleton capable of lifting 1000 kg, and able to run all day didn't just spring into existence at the snap of your fingers. It really must be tough living in that fantasy world where research and development don't take time and resources.

    • Usually prototypes are a scaled down model. If I were a betting man, I'd say the final model will be more like 300kg...

    • Could be used for Feats of Strength during Festivus [wikipedia.org].
    • would consider lifting 30Kg to be superhuman.

      30 kg is 66 lbs. OSHA requires a second person to help (or to use mechanical assistance) for any weight over 50 lbs as it dramatically increases the risk of injury.
  • Woo hoo! I can do that. That makes me a superhuman!
  • Conversion time (Score:2, Informative)

    by wjcofkc (964165)
    185 centimeters = ~6 feet
    28 kilogram = ~61 pounds
    30 kilograms = ~66 pounds

    66 pounds by itself is not a terrible lot to lug around, but if this suit lets you work with that kind of weight continuously for 3 hours, that's pretty significant.
  • Archer roboto

  • lifting 30 kilos is considered superhuman.
  • They also mention it still has problems with twisting, sounds like one has to twist themselves PLUS the suit. Seems to defeat the pick this up and put it over there aspect for a LOT of values of 'there'. Not to mention 'there' can't really be up or down a slope either.

    I agree on the the headlines. Save em for when they actually apply. I plan for my car to be really fast someday, but I can't write the world record headline quite yet...unless maybe I can be an editor at Slashdot too ;)

    It MIGHT give you superh

  • "With a 3-hour battery life, the exoskeleton allows users to walk at a normal pace and, in its prototype form, it can lift objects with a mass of up to 30 kilograms."

    Wow. Color me very unimpressed so far. My biological battery lasts 48 hours (extreme) and lets me lift about 120 Kg fully and regularly as well as a lot more occasionally. I can also run.

    Seriously though, while this is not "Super Strength" as the headline claims it is an interesting advancement. What we need next is a "Robot Suit that gives Edi

    • If it subtracts up to 30kg of every weight you have to lift, I would say it is very useful. I don't think it limits your maximum weight, so all superhuman slashdotters here can continue to regularly lift their 120kg, or maybe 150 now.
  • No SCV comments? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:20PM (#47603101)

    I'm disappointed in the Slashdot of today. All of these comments, and not one person making wise about Koreans playing Starcraft and deciding to develop their own SCV's.

    • +5 for such a need to state the obvious? Pity the Dashslot of today.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      All of these comments, and not one person making wise about Koreans playing Starcraft and deciding to develop their own SCV's.

      People are too busy explaining how they can lift more than the robo-suit. Dunno when Slashdot became a high school.

  • ...coming soon?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

    Not according to the lack of imagination by the posters here I've seen so far.

  • I can see some sort of situation arising where a worker tries to outdo one of these things in a fight for his/her job and ends up working themselves to death. Or the machine keeps going with the deceased worker inside.

  • Back when I was a combat field engineer we lifted transom beams with 6 guys that meant each of us lifted many multiples of that.

    Wake me when you actually are doing some real lifting.

  • ...called a forklift?

    Yes, we use tools to move things that we can't - is an exoskeleton that has a 3 hour battery life really more effective than your plain old forklift?

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Monday August 04, 2014 @11:20PM (#47604539)

    Ok, the LEGO set is independent of this prototype. But it's available this month. Here [lego.com] is the original proposal on Lego Ideas. Buy your own minifig exosuit! You know you want to.

  • 30kilos superhuman? When I worked in a retailer warehouse back in the 80s I had to lift 125lb boxes of tools up 7ft shelves. Pfffftttt...
  • The workers wouldn't even need to be on the dock. Cheap labour overseas could command the exoskeleton remotely. And all this, while waiting for the rudimentary AI needed in order to allow the exoskeleton to perform those same tasks in an autonomous fashion.
  • I can use one of these suits to kick the snot out of the 12-foot cockroach I got hiding in the wheel well of my hawg.

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