Exoskeletal Awesomeness

Tom James @ 13-06-2008

Human augmentation and science fictional brilliance collide with real life in the HULC – the Human Universal Loads Carrier. According to sales-jabber from the Berkeley Bionics website:

The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC™) is the third generation exoskeleton system from Berkeley Bionics. It incorporates the features of ExoHiker™ and ExoClimber™, exhibiting two independent characteristics:

1) It takes up to 200 pounds without impeding the wearer (Strength Augmentation)

2) It decreases its wearer’s metabolic cost (Endurance Augmentation).

Like most people I’m ambivalent about the idea of a runaway military industrial complex, but aside from the military applications this sort of technology has a lot of applications for paraplegics and the disabled. Check out the video for more corporate propaganda and quasi-transhumanist possibilities:

Fans of Iain M Banks’ wonderful Player of Games will be fully aware of the dark side of exoskeletal systems. My bet is it’ll be about 10 years before these are available to consumers: and will probably be expensive, heavily regulated and licensed when they are.

[via Gizmodo]

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One Response to “Exoskeletal Awesomeness”

  1. Leadhyena says:

    “My bet is it’ll be about 10 years before these are available to consumers: and will probably be expensive, heavily regulated and licensed when they are.”

    …regulated, and still hacked. You couldn’t possibly stop people from souping these power-suits up, especially when you consider that guns are heavily regulated and still people have sawed-off shotguns, fully automatic weapons, and other illegally enhanced weapons. The scary thing is that when someone amps up their exoskeleton in software, the effect is not only imperceptible on first glance, but also can be hidden on close inspection if the code is good enough.