For those that have seen the movie ‘Aliens’, you remember the sequence where Sigourney Weaver dons an exoskeleton and takes on the mother alien. Well the exoskeleton pictured is a slight step in that direction. Now since we are not battling aliens at this time, one benefit of exoskeletons is helping those unable to walk.
Ekso Bionics is one of many companies around the world that is working on exoskeleton technology. At this time the technology is really in its infancy but the possibilities can be easily imagined. Giving those who are unable to walk the added freedom and independence to explore more of the world. Plus the ability to someday fight off aliens is also good! Here is some more info from a recent USA Today article by Patricia Anstett of the Detroit Free Press:It straps around people so they can stand upright and walk with a walker. The device is propelled by electrical impulses and robotic sensors that help keep users upright and gently propel them forward, a step at a time. The device currently costs about $100,000 and is unlikely to be covered by insurance. It is limited to people with some upper-body strength and designed for people who weigh no more than about 220 pounds and who are 5 feet 2 to 6 feet 2.
Ekso Bionics also has a Youtube video where you can see the device in action.