"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
Mechanical engineers at UC Berkeley's Robotic and Human Engineering Department have developed an bionic exoskeleton.
The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX), as it’s officially called, consists of mechanical metal leg braces that are connected rigidly to the user at the feet, and, in order to prevent abrasion, more compliantly elsewhere. The device includes a power unit and a backpack-like frame used to carry a large load.Not surprisingly the project is being funded by DARPA, with dreams of load-bearing soldiers lumbering across distant (or nearby) battlefields. It's probably not far off to a future where the Matrix-style APC's will be engaging enemy combatants. Hopefully the inevitable biomechanical augmentation of the human species will be driven by more noble goals than just creating super soldiers.
"We’ve designed this system to be ergonomic, highly maneuverable and technically robust so the wearer can walk, squat, bend and swing from side to side without noticeable reductions in agility. The human pilot can also step over and under obstructions while carrying equipment and supplies."
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