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Italian Researchers Demonstrate 'Powerloader' Suit 57

Sockatume writes "Researchers in Italy have demonstrated a powered exoskeleton that can lift 50kg with each hand, as demonstrated in a video with the BBC. The 'body extender' from the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa has been developed for applications like disaster relief, and is just one of many strength-augmenting systems being developed for use in rescue, military, and medical applications. Neither the researchers nor the BBC make the comparison to the Powerloader in the movie Aliens — but come on, look at it."
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Italian Researchers Demonstrate 'Powerloader' Suit

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  • by darkfuture ( 2613069 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @04:49AM (#46406065)
    Soon every construction site will have several of these. Imagine how this will change the building construction industry!
    Next we will see 20 foot high version.
  • only 50Kg? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SuperDre ( 982372 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @04:49AM (#46406067) Homepage
    what? a suit like that and only able to lift 50Kg per hand? Wonder when we'll actually see a real powerlifter like the one in Aliens, it shouldn't be hard to do a real one..
  • by ( 595837 ) <> on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @04:54AM (#46406093) Journal
    If the onboard electronic is rugged for arsh environments, adding some lead plates may be an idea to approach some areas in Fukushima plant.
  • Re:only 50Kg? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @09:52AM (#46407343)

    50kg is still pretty damn heavy. Even a bodybuilder who lifts weights could not hold 50kg in each hand with their farm fully extended for more than a few seconds. You can't compare it to a forklift as forklifts simply lift things up and down. They can't easily lift things into place or position them at awkward angles. This suit can.

    But forklifts can lift a whole lot of weight for their size. The little lift at my work lifts 3000lbs/1360kg and weighs about twice that to counterbalance the load. Smaller, short wheel base forklifts are counterbalanced using large a large weight at the rear. Think about it, you have 1000kg on the forks and moving at around 8-10kmh and you suddenly need to stop. With equal balance the lift would tip forward. So the heavy as hell counterweight makes sure that doesn't happen as the weight behind the mast is way more then what is on the mast. If you look at the rear of any lift it looks like a thick chunk of steel and it pretty much is. I bought an old 4000 lb/1814 kg capacity Clark Y40 for scrap value and towed it home on a 5 ton trailer. Man that thing was H-E-A-V-Y, 7000 lbs/3175 kg heavy, I thought I was going to blow the tranny in my 1 ton van. The frame consists of two 30-35mm steel plates that make up the side of the body, a large cross plate and a counterweight at the rear. Everything else just bolts to that huge mass.

    So now that you have a good idea as to how stupid heavy forklifts are, the 100 kg lift capacity of a man sized suit appears much more sane for manipulating loads with precision and dexterity in a space constrained area. They are targeting the use for search and rescue but I would imagine such a suit could be used for any number of tasks which require one to repeatedly lift and maneuver heavy objects.

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham