Homemade Superhero: [James’] DIY Exoskeleton

We’re not just a bunch of monkeys with typewriters here at Hackaday; we don our hacker hat whenever our schedules allow. Or, in the case of Hackaday’s own [James Hobson]—aka [The Hacksmith]—he dons this slick exoskeleton prototype instead,turning himself into a superhero. Inspired by the exoskeleton from the film Elysium, this project puts [James] one step closer to the greater goal of creating an Iron Man-style suit.

For now, though, the exoskeleton is impressive enough on its own. The build is a combination of custom-cut perforated steel tubing and pneumatic cylinders, attached to a back braces of sorts. In the demonstration video, [James] stares down 170 pounds of cinder block affixed to a barbell, and although he’s no lightweight, you can tell immediately from his reaction how much assistance the exoskeleton provides as [James] curls the makeshift weights over and over. And that’s only at half pressure. [James] thinks he could break the 300 pound mark of lifting if he didn’t break his legs first.

There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the build process to be had, so make sure you stick around after the jump for a sizable helping of videos, and check out [The Hacksmith’s] website for more of his projects.

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ReWalk suit for paraplegics


We here at Hack a Day are really interested in power suits, so the ReWalk suit for paraplegics immediately caught our attention. By using unique robotic control algorithms, the suit works with the user rather than for the user. This allows the user to experience the sensation of walking autonomously and a chance at a normal life. Argo, the design company, also claims that a suit like this will end up saving the user money considering the high price of medical and transportation equipment. The core design is not entirely new. It has a batterypack and DC motors placed at the joints. The wearer uses crutches and the sensors and software monitor upper body movement to predict when and where the user wants to move their leg.

[via Medgadget]