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Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asimo

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the walk-me-to-the-store dept.

Robotics 135

kkleiner writes "Honda has created two walking exoskeletons based on Asimo research that assist humans in walking. The Bodyweight Support Assist exoskeleton is a set of thin legs attached to a seat. Users sit on the seat and slip their feet into shoes on the robotic legs. This system supports bodyweight to assist people in walking and moving up and down steps. The other, Stride Management Assist, is a brace worn around the hips and thighs that provides added strength when flexing that joint. It's currently under development and being tested by 130 patients in the field. Both devices may prove to be valuable tools in helping the elderly maintain their mobility, assisting the disabled, and easing the stress on physical laborers."

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First exosceleton post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608710)

This post was brought to you by cyberdyne systems.

Re:First exosceleton post (1, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608760)

Well, I wonder what will happen when the exoskeleton will be infected by a virus. Same question with the pacemakers and other stuff assisting life.

Given that all the stupid computers in hospitals are running windows, this threat is actually already there, and does not seem to have caused many problems so far. Yet, I'm still very anxious to see these things more and more popular.

Re:First exosceleton post (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608874)

My X-Rays were delayed once because a virus got into the radiology systems. The images came on CD with handy DLLs which I would not have touched even if I used windows.

Re:First exosceleton post (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608880)

"Well, I wonder what will happen when the exoskeleton will be infected by a virus"

Just something like this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrong_Trousers

Re:First exosceleton post (3, Interesting)

Lupu (815408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609060)

Given that all the stupid computers in hospitals are running windows, this threat is actually already there, and does not seem to have caused many problems so far. Yet, I'm still very anxious to see these things more and more popular.

With a year's experience working in a public hospital purchasing office I found (without searching) many critical security flaws in the processes. For example, the European Procurement Announcement agency regularly sends catalogs of EU-wide procurements in CD's that require Windows and autorun to function. The CD would start a web server off the disk and launch Internet Explorer to interface with the server. In other words, we regularly executed programs from CD's we got by mail in a very simple (and easy to replicate) packaging, on the same computers we use to make very expensive purchases (believe me, hospital equipment isn't cheap).

Re:First exosceleton post (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609144)

Well, I wonder what will happen when the exoskeleton will be infected by a virus.

The user will be like the proverbial spastic who walked past a magnet factory and kicked himself to death.

Re:First exosceleton post (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609408)

The reason you have not heard of virus problems in hospitals is the same as always: The hospitals bury their problems.

Re:First exosceleton post (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609686)

Most of the people I see here in the States with "mobility problems" are grotesquely fat.

What load capacity will these things have?

The movie Wall-E predicts the future of the human race pretty well, IMO.

We already have a million big blobs on little scooters riding around Wal-Mart buying Twinkies.

Re:First exosceleton post (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609846)

I don't think you're going to see lardasses using exoskeletons within your lifetime, at least.

Exoskeletons are not going to be cheap, and insurance (of any sort) isn't going to pay for them just because you're too slovenly to lay off the Ho-Hos [wikipedia.org] . In fact, I think that's part of the problem with devices like these: Insurance companies want to be convinced of "medical necessity" before they pony up the money for medical devices. It would not surprise me at all if insurance companies denied claims for the exoskeletons on the basis that users don't "need" them when there are perfectly good motorized and manual wheelchairs around.

Re:First exosceleton post (2, Informative)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609756)

Is there any reason why the exoskeleton should have any vulnerabilities to viruses? I can't see a reason you'd put a USB port, an optical drive, or Internet access on one of these. I mean, I suppose you could somehow flash the virus into the circuitry, if you had that kind of access to it, but for an end user product, how likely is that?

Re:First exosceleton post (2, Informative)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610440)

With more and more devices allowing and requiring firmware updates, it wouldn't be so surprising to have to hook up these legs to a computer occasionally to upgrade the control software. This would leave it open to attack in many ways. Many people who bought the movie Avatar complained about the need for a firmware update just to watch the movie, when you have software controlling your leg movement (or assisting, whatever) what is to say that there won't be bug fixes, or even modifications to the software for a persons personal leg gait.

Re:First exosceleton post (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611436)

With more and more devices allowing and requiring firmware updates, it wouldn't be so surprising to have to hook up these legs to a computer occasionally to upgrade the control software. This would leave it open to attack in many ways. Many people who bought the movie Avatar complained about the need for a firmware update just to watch the movie, when you have software controlling your leg movement (or assisting, whatever) what is to say that there won't be bug fixes, or even modifications to the software for a persons personal leg gait.

I think you're looking at this like it's an electronic device. For purposes of testing, it's not. It's a medical device. If there's some bug in the controls, they're most likely going to be found and fixed in clinical trials. This isn't like a drug, where different people might have unpredictable (or at least, difficult to predict) adverse events. All this skeleton has to do is a) hold the patient's weight, and b) walk. I could foresee a desire to make the exoskeleton walk faster, but that's a mechanical fix, not a software one. There aren't going to be updates to program in line dancing or breakdance moves. The exoskeleton is designed to do one thing: walk. Why would they mess with that? Even if they did add features or improvements to the system, they wouldn't do firmware updates. They'd sell them as new models, just as they do when they add features to other medical equipment.

Besides that, there's not a lot of DIY going on in wheelchair repair. Mostly, you call a surgical supply store, and they either come to you, or you go to them. I can't imagine this would be much different.

Re:First exosceleton post (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609112)

Yes, exactly! Cyberdyne Systems is a Good Company [notarealthing.com] !

VTEC kicked in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608734)

"VTEC kicked in, yo!"

*zips up the stairs really very fast* BRAAAAAAAAAAAAMP!!! (VTEC sound)

With a legbrake turn at the top of the landing.

Eek! (4, Funny)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608758)

Any dude who has ever had a bike seat interact harshly with their crotch area will likely cringe when they think a little bit about this one. It's a powered crutch... that uses your crotch instead of your armpits.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Eek! (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608822)

Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asim

Is this some sort of racial slur?

Re:Eek! (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609020)

It's a typo. It should read "walk like a Sim"

Re:Eek! (1)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609024)

Haha, I actually read the title as "Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asian" and thought it was wildly inappropriate.

Re:Eek! (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609692)

Haha, I actually read the title as "Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asian" and thought it was wildly inappropriate.

If anime has taught me anything most Asians use mechs for transport so I think it's a very accurate title!

Re:Eek! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609032)

Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asim

Is this some sort of racial slur?

Not any more than "Walk Like an Egyptian".

Re:Eek! (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609764)

Nope, it's an advertisement for the undead - 'Skeletons help you walk like Asimov'.

Re:Eek! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608850)

Well its a fairly large, comfy seat. I have an expensive titanium railed leather seat on my commuting bike (160 AUD: I was single when I bought it). Once I slipped off a pedal and came down right on the sharp bit at the front. Christ that hurt.

At least you can't slip off this. I wonder if they have actually tried it out with somebody who can barely walk? I would hate them to fall and break half their bones.

Re:Eek! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608924)

(160 AUD: I was single when I bought it).

You're justifying a certain amount you spent at a seat or you're suggesting you had nobody to nag you not to do it, or even that your gf is now really exprensive?

At least you can't slip off this

The day must come I've slipped off of a bike seat..

I wonder if they have actually tried it out with somebody who can barely walk?

It looks like me it's not really in that stage yet.

and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609732)

why not get rid of all physical jobs with robot
then what jobs will hte stupid people do.....act? Sing?
can't have everyone do that cause we can soon get rid of need for both of them too.....
MY oh my what will we do when three are no jobs left.....

Asimo VS Stairs (1)

skila (1853052) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610696)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASoCJTYgYB0 [youtube.com] Let's hope they ironed out a few of the problems, otherwise we will have a lot of broken humans.

Re:Eek! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611150)

"It's a powered crutch... that uses your crotch instead of your armpits."

I, for one, find the idea vaguely arousing.

Ugly (1)

muzip (1220080) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608776)

Fantastic innovation, but doesn't look aesthetically pleasing. Looks like you have a two legged spider between your legs ...

Re:Ugly (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608884)

Its like they've got the Wrong Trousers.

Re:Ugly (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608920)

Looks like you have a two legged spider between your legs ...

If not exciting, it is at least intriguing !

Re:Ugly (2, Insightful)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609344)

You won't care for the looks when you're 70 and unable to walk with assistance.

Re:Ugly (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609712)

Not even if you're 20 and unable to walk without assistance. MS sufferers will be some of the ones to benefit from this; there are two young women I know of with this condition who can barely walk even with crutches. There are a lot more conditions than being elderly that will make you need this. I would imagine a lot of men and women coming back rom Iraq and Afghanistan will need it, too.

As to the "70" thing, my dad will be 80 next year, and he still goes square dancing every Saturday night. This isn't for all the elderly, nor is it only for the elderly.

This is a fantastic piece of tech. Imagine what they're going to have when you're my dad's age!

Reaction time (3, Interesting)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608784)

When they mention physical laborers, I start wondering if these type of exoskeletons will restrict us in some areas too. Would I for example be able to run as fast with one as without one? What about jumping or dodging to avoid a fast moving object?

Re:Reaction time (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608794)

They mean physical jobs where this can prevent injury.

Re:Reaction time (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608824)

Yeah, I figured carrying heavy objects around. But where there are heavy objects there might be falling heavy objects too.

Re:Reaction time (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608894)

The solution to heavy falling objects is not "make sure all your workers can run", it's "make sure that no heavy objects are above people in the first place". Besides, if the workers are much more at risk of repetitive strain from lifting heavy things around all day, something like this is overall beneficial by reducing the main risk even if it increases other types of risk slightly.

Re:Reaction time (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609164)

Now, make sure no heavy objects are generally above people at all ever in a job that involves loading trucks with an overhead crane, or pulling materials off of a pallet rack with a forklift (these racks usually go 3-5 levels high at several feet of height per level), etc, etc, etc.

In a lot of cases, "Make sure your employees are aware of their environment and know how to GTFO if something starts going wrong" is the best that can be done.

Re:Reaction time (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609230)

In a lot of cases, "Make sure your employees are aware of their environment and know how to GTFO if something starts going wrong" is the best that can be done.

I have worked in these environments (Pallet racks, forklifts) , and I agree that this is the best policy by far. (Except you missed the "if you like having toes, wear your safety boots, if you like having a head, wear your hard hat).

PHBs unfortunately don't agree with us. they think its more important you _sign_ that "you have watched a video, and know what a bad cartoon drawing of a forklift looks like". Its the law.

Re:Reaction time (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609238)

If something truly heavy drops on you then steel toes and a hard hat aren't going to do much.. suppose it may be better to have your toes crimped off than to have them trapped/crushed under a container though.

I've worked with forklifts too and massive cranes moving 20 ton containers around our yard, I prefer just to not stand under the heavy things than hope a hardhat is somehow going to save me if they fall.

Re:Reaction time (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609616)

Warning: heating element may be hot.

Of course there's always something that the protective measure won't protect you from. The point of them is to protect you within the specified limits. Nobody ever claimed that a hard hat is going to miraculously save you from a 20-ton container to the noggin.

Re:Reaction time (1)

wbhauck (629723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611486)

Nobody ever claimed that a hard hat is going to miraculously save you from a 20-ton container to the noggin.

That's what ACME umbrella's are for!

Re:Reaction time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610722)

Once when I worked as a framer I almost had a truss package dropped on me. The line on the boom truck snapped to about 1/3 of its normal thickness while we were booming it up to the second floor of the house, and I and the lead were under it, getting it set correctly. If the line had snapped completely through then it would have killed both of us on its way down through both floors of the house. The hard hat I had on would not have helped at all.

I've also had a nailgun dropped directly on my head, and was very thankful that I had a hard hat on at the time, as it saved me a concussion.

Not being under the heavy things is generally the best policy, followed by educating your workers on how to properly and safely secure a load for storage and transport.

Re:Reaction time (2, Informative)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608862)

quote from one of the videos: "no jumping". obviously, the things are based on moving within some strict parameters.
however, I think they can be constructed so that it's easy to get out of them (if you need them). until they have the direct to brain interface available...

I wonder what happens if you jump (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609876)

Does the machine start flailing your legs around uncontrollably and doing the splits?

I'd be very worried about tripping over wearing one of those things...

Re:Reaction time (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610230)

I think with about 6 million dollars all of this should be faster, better, stronger, etc. You should at least be able to run 60mh, have the strength of an elephant, and best of all x-ray vision.

WTH? (2, Interesting)

miknix (1047580) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608796)

http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/honda-exoskeleton-walker.jpg [singularityhub.com]

Did they really need to put a man there? I feel the pain in my nuts already.

Re:WTH? (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608856)

My guess is that half the target audience won't have nuts at all, while the other half may be drooping down quite a bit and so will be able to find a comfortable position for said components.

Re:WTH? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610008)

My guess is the final version will come with a codpiece.

Re:WTH? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608928)

Maybe it has an optional vibrator feature? The Walk & Wank model?

Gee you think they thought of that already? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608866)

I'm amazed at some of the comments posted so far.

What happens when it gets a virus. Most likely a closed system that doesn't allow you that type of access. I highly doubt the system runs on windows. More likely a low power computer based system with little access to the programming. Doubt they would want you tinkering with that for safety reasons.

Crotch issues... the device maintains constant support when using the device. You are not bouncing up and down on it. So no, there are no crotch issues any more than their would be for sitting for long periods of time.

Doesn't look aesthetically pleasing... if you needed the device for mobility do you think you would care? Powered wheelchairs don't look that great either, but that is not going to stop someone who needs the assistance.

Restrictions while using device... Duh...

Re:Gee you think they thought of that already? (0, Troll)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609152)

Restrictions while using device... Duh...

Say this thing is widely integrated and alot of people use it, because (as shown in the clip) going up stairs is such an incomfortable task that might make you sweat and give up going upstairs. While you sit down, feeling like a failure because you were defeated by a stairway.

I do realize, this is thought for less mobile people or perhaps revalidation, but with a "cool"-factor like the segway, just imagine people not using their bodies anymore, no muscle-development turning into these meek puny defensless creatures sans-devices.

I'll keep on walking myself as long I can, thanksverymuch.

Does it make you do that weird Asimo walk? (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608892)

The one with the legs a bit too bent and like you have no calf muscles?

Re:Does it make you do that weird Asimo walk? (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609066)

WTFV (watch the fucking videos)

Re:Does it make you do that weird Asimo walk? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609440)

Humor. Lost on some people.

Re:Does it make you do that weird Asimo walk? (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611504)

Be careful on stairs then.

Honda? Meh. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608906)

Honda is quite far behind in this technology.

http://www.cyberdyne.jp/english/robotsuithal/

Re:Honda? Meh. (2, Funny)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609658)

Perhaps Honda is late to the party with this one, but you'll note that the link you've provided points to a suit called HAL, made by Cyberdyne.

You think that the ball-cupping of the Honda suit is bad?

- Alrighty, let's pick up this heavy box.
- I'm sorry John, I can't let you do that.
- Wait, what? Why? Hold on, my name isn't John.
- Target acquired.
*Bend* *Bend* *Fold* CRRRRUNCH! Aaaiiirrrghh!!
-Terminated.

300+ pages but leaves out the event time of day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33608914)

Retired NORAD Officer's New Book Predicts a Tentative Worldwide UFO Display on October 13, 2010

it would have helped with scheduling if the time was supplied; like between 1-6pm, or after the tornadoes, something.

see also: google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=weather+manipulation

see also:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+blair+obama+weather+authors

Thankfully It's not Toyota... (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608948)

Thankfully it's not Toyota because people might not be able to stop running when a floor-mat gets stuck under its feet because we all know the accelerator would have been positioned there.

Re:Thankfully It's not Toyota... (1)

daremonai (859175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609774)

I'd be more worried about the cheap knockoff version from Chery - bursts into flames if you happen to bump into someone.

Excellent (3, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608986)

I've always wanted to walk through a sim city as a sim.

Helps you walk... (0, Troll)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#33608992)

"...like Asim."

Is that a "spastic" in Japanese?

Only old people (0)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609054)

become crazy mechas in Japan

Re:Only old people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609150)

cue Bangles ditty...
Walk like an eJaption.

You know, if I had one of these, I'd set on "moonwalk" everywhere I went.

That's all fine and good... (4, Funny)

Genda (560240) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609078)

But can you toss an alien queen out an airlock with it??? Inquiring minds want to know!

Re:That's all fine and good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610484)

And is Caterpillar going to license the tech?

Lazy Fat People..... (1, Interesting)

emh203 (815620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609128)

Not to sound to cruel, but I see this being overused more by people who are simply lazy. Every time to goto a store, I see overweight folks using the electric karts to scoot them selves around so they can fill their baskets with oreos and ice cream... That and old people..... I always tell people I am "pro death panel". We simple can't afford to keep pumping cash into machines such as this to keep 90 year people moving around.

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609142)

Well it is a Japanese product and I doubt they have the same issues. What they do have is a huge number of really old people. If it gets used by obese people in western countries then we can take comfort from the short battery life. Maybe it should come with a complaining voice. Load limit exceeded...

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (2, Informative)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609392)

What they do have is a huge number of really old people...

Er, not as many as they thought they had... [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609898)

The most interesting thing from that article I think is the last line: "The government said the findings would have a minimal impact on longevity figures, which are based on census data collated during home visits. In addition, men over 98 and women over 103 are not factored into life expectancy calculations."

Would it really skew the averages that much to include everybody?

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610194)

Not to sound to cruel, but I see this being overused more by people who are simply lazy. Every time to goto a store, I see overweight folks using the electric karts to scoot them selves around so they can fill their baskets with oreos and ice cream

Those fat people really need those scooters. Carrying around 300-400 pounds every day for a decade will ruin the leg's various joints. It isn't laziness, it's freedom from pain. But I guess you're all for making people suffer.

That and old people..... I always tell people I am "pro death panel". We simple can't afford to keep pumping cash into machines such as this to keep 90 year people moving around.

But we can afford wars and corporate bailouts. WTF? Your grandparents must have treated you horribly for you to hate them so much. I pity your lack of compassion and humanity, you'd make a great corporate CEO. Have you looked into a career with the RIAA or the MPAA, or perhaps British Petroleum?

If you get hit by a drunk driver tonight and lose the use of your legs I'll bet you'll change your opinion faster than your thirteen year old brain can imagine.

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610434)

That and old people..... I always tell people I am "pro death panel".

The trouble is that you're too late, thanks to socialist medicine (i.e. Medicare), death panels are only for those younger than 65 (and on private insurance).

Re:Lazy Fat People..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610842)

I don't think so. Fat peoples asses are also big, so there is a good chance that the tiny seat will get lodged right in the butt crack. The two arms above knees are also between thighs of the walker. Ever see a fat man? There is no space between thighs of a fat man/woman. In conclusion fat people can't use this device without severe design modifications.

Wal*Mart here we come!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609134)

Just like the electric scooters that were targeted for the elderly and disabled, and then hijacked in droves by morbidly obese 30-somethings at Wal*Mart and Disney World, I predict that fat people around America will clamoring for these.

Senior Citizen Porn is Next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609172)

You just watch... even if it is against your will. These elderly-assist technologies will be used to help the aged make their own porn. The exoskeleton can probably set to "hump" and it does all the work for them with risking a broken hip. Soon we will be hearing lines like "Help! I've orgasmed and I can't get up."

Folks, this is going to be very bad.

Cyberpunk Solo of Fortune. (2, Funny)

splutty (43475) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609182)

This reminds me a lot of an advertisement in the Solo of Fortune magazine released for the Cyberpunk pen & paper RPG.

"Russian cyberleg not pretty, but no matter when kick hole in tank, yes?"

http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=showbook&bookid=1106 [pen-paper.net] This one. Very funny read.

Is it just me? (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609270)

It seems like with this machine, you are just one software bug away from castration.

Well.... (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609276)

...that's all fine and well, but can it make you walk like Awesom-o? [wikipedia.org]

I can already walk like Asimo. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609308)

By myself, without any add-on.

What I cannot do is walk like Michael Jackson.

When he was alive, I mean.

Is this powered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33609312)

Does this have motors and batteries, or just springs?

CP etc. (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609338)

I can see applications for these kind of devices in physio/therapeutic settings, where for example kids with cerebral palsy, spasticity, and incoherent/underdeveloped motor skills in general can learn how to move properly. The device can provide a restrictive function (prevent limbs or torso flailing around uncontrolled...passive devices like braces are already used for that) and simultaneously provide an external "correct" way of moving about. Basically teach the body/brain the proper way of moving (such as walking) through externally-provided motion. In time, the body may get used to it and incorporate it in its own movement muscle programming.

Problem with these kind of things is always, you read about it on the Internet, say wow...great idea...and then at least a decade goes by until things like that show up in actuality anywhere near you. In the meantime you battle stupid smirks by doctors, who've never heard of such things, when you try to talk to them about what you believe to be a very valid therapeutic approach.

Walk like an Egyptian... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609380)

The title has the name of the song all wrong...

Re:Walk like an Egyptian... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610304)

And Honda spelled Dr. Asimov's name wrong!

Wrong trousers, Grommit! (1)

pkunzip (1746760) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609552)

Now for some cheeeese...

Well, well. (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609638)

Mechanical seven league boots, eh ? Hopefully users realise that unless some basic precautions are taken, using the boots results in having one's feet twenty-one miles apart causing unacceptable groin strain.

I can see the use in many areas (1)

jdc18 (1654245) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609734)

I can see the use in many areas, but i know most of us are expecting a video of them kicking trough walls or jumping over buildings. Right now they just seem like a giant diaper with legs.

I'd use it differently (5, Interesting)

Anti Cheat (1749344) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609742)

As a person with some mobility issues due to nerve damage, I can certainly see myself using such a device as this. After watching the selected movies of it in action, I could visualize how the forces that this machine exerts, would assist cases like mine. I have difficulty controlling my legs. I know this machine doesn't actually make the decisions about muscle control, but it still would help a segment of people with some nerve damage that affects the force and feedback required for steady motion. If some of the forces required to walk were reduced with an aid, then control would be improved. You see, as you exert more force you become more unstable because the nerves to fire the muscles aren't firing strong enough, no do they react or give feedback the same way, as those loads increase. Lighter loads are easier. Remove some of that muscular force required to stand and walk and you would become more stable. It's not just about simply removing dead weight from the legs. With this I would focus less about how hard I need to exert those forces and far more on the control for balance and movement if half the strength needed was removed. It would make a big improvement to stability control. That makes a huge difference for people with some level of nerve damage in getting around safely without stumbling etc. I don't think most people see it this way when they look at this device in action. It's not all about strength.

I wouldn't want to experiment w my own exoskeleton (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#33609884)

I'm a coder, and I like coding, but sometimes I wonder about making robots.

Imagine if you made it so if you pull the arm to one side. Then instead of stopping, the device kept moving you arm around your body, and ripped off a limb. You can't dismember yourself doing code. Exoskeleton development could be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

Re:I wouldn't want to experiment w my own exoskele (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610804)

The solution is to design the exoskeleton so it physically has a limited range of motion, so that it will damage itself or run up against the range of the joint before it will injure you.

Re:I wouldn't want to experiment w my own exoskele (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611276)

"Imagine if you made it so if you pull the arm to one side. Then instead of stopping, the device kept moving you arm around your body, and ripped off a limb. "

That's why you design in adjustable POSITIVE MECHANICAL STOPS.

Analogy: Cars are complex, guardrails less so, for appropriate reasons.

Acrobatics (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610006)

So how much will have to be modified from the base design to allow them to assist in acrobatics, jumping, or even in assisting in landing after falling/jumping from an uncomfortable height?

Well... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610336)

Well, at least these might be less in the way when all the fat, lazy people at Wal-Mart have to use them to get around to buy their cheese doodles and soda pop.

Who wants to bet that the largest client will be (1)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610422)

The military. I for one don't welcome our new robot overlords.

Get Stephen Hawking one of the things! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33610670)

nuff said.

Walk like asimo??? (2, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33610680)

Is this a joke?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTlV0Y5yAww [youtube.com]

What's next?
Swim like an Anvil(tm)?
Fly like a Potato Sack(tm)?

Extreme Motorcycle (1)

spikesahead (111032) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611368)

I immediately thought of what it would look like with a pair of thin bicycle tires between the ankles, and additional tires (and supporting enhanced robotic arms) strapped to my forearms. Make the exo suit into a full body resting couch, then skitter across concrete like a water bug in a pond.

Althought the seat isn't polished aluminum (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#33611390)

can I buy one of these and tell people to bite my shiny metal ass?
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