Robotic Exoskeletons Are Changing Lives in Surprising Ways

170217-exoskeleton-mn-1810_4dd2c55b55e6a2f68a53ba767777cf04-nbcnews-ux-2880-1000Say the term ‘power suit’ and most people think of bold corporate attire. But the expression takes on new meaning when it refers to a powered “exoskeleton,” like Ellen Ripley’s power loader in “Aliens,” or Iron Man’s armor from the Marvel films and comic books.

Until a few years ago, such exoskeletons — metal frameworks fitted with motorized “muscles” that can multiply the wearers’ strength far beyond that of normal humans — were entirely fictional. The only real-world exoskeletons were the natural external coverings of animals such as beetles and crabs; protective outer structures that provide a stiff frame upon which their muscles can push against to move their bodies around.

By Steven Ashley | NBC News

Image Credit: U.S. Bionics

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