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Power Suit Promises Super-Human Strength

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the robocop-coming-soon dept.

230

anthemaniac writes "LiveScience is reporting out of NextFest on a Japanese-built power suit that amplifies the strength of its wearer. The onboard computer is hooked up to sensors that monitor natural movements, then it inflates cuffs to boost lifting power. The Power Assist Suit could be used by hospital workers to move heavy patients, the researchers say."

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230 comments

Let me be the first to say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240267)

Let the Mech Wars BEGIN!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (3, Funny)

icj (852635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240481)

They are currently working on a model that can only be piloted by teenaged schoolgirls in the event a giant monster attacks earth.

SNL (1, Funny)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240293)

They're going to (clap) pump you up!

Starship Troopers anyone? (4, Funny)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240309)

Now all we need are little jet packs on the ankles.

Re:Starship Troopers anyone? (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240605)

And nukes. Nothing like portable nukes for takin' out the Skinnies.

Rifleman's Creed v1.1 (5, Funny)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240819)

This is my powered armor suit. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My suit is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My suit, without me, is useless. Without my suit, I am useless. I must fire my tatical nuclear ordinance true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must vaporize him before he shoots me. I will...
My suit and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My armor suit is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its negative force feedback. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my powered armor suit clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My suit and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life...
So be it, until victory is Terra's and there is no enemy, but peace!

Once this is in use... (3, Funny)

John Guilt (464909) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240727)

...will there be a grandfather clause allowing me to keep voting?

(What if the younger, semi-socialist R.A.H. had written "Starship Troopers"? He was still had that hazed-in loyalty to the military....)

Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240311)

While the application of strengh-enhancing "suits" to care centers like hospitals and nursing homes may be unique, the idea has been around forever in both Sci-fi and military research programs. Battery life is the main issue for real suits, and this one with 30 minutes of power is no different. Unlike military applications, though, 30 minutes ought to be plenty to assist in the movement of heavier patients or simply augmenting the strength of waif-like Japanese nurses. In the battle theater, though, 30 minutes is woefully short.

Other possible applications is in the rescue operations in the aftermath of a large earthquake or hurricane. We use tools to augment our strength all the time, from the fork to the forklift, we use these tools to do things that we just can't do ourselves.

I welcome our new Japanese mecha suit nurse overlords.

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (2, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240445)

In the battle theater, though, 30 minutes is woefully short.

You've obviously never seen an arnie movie ;) In 30 minutes he can defeat an entire army with a bag full of weapons, and save his daughter.
This suit could allow Arnie to do it in 15 at least!!!

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240661)

In 30 minutes he can defeat an entire army with a bag full of weapons, and save his daughter.

Even when the same guy with a beard arises from the dead and gets killed at least once more.

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (3, Insightful)

NinjaFarmer (833539) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240459)

Actually 30 minutes for a supported combat air drop could be pretty useful. 30 minutes of human mobility tank could be used to sieze a drop zone or helecoptor landing site. After that you lose the strength and mobility on the suit, but you still have the heavy weapons and special forces soldiers in those suites on site. Getting the suites OUT may be a problem, and the entrance is anything but subtle, but if you are going for real "shock-and-awe" type of assault a powered suit like that would be pretty good.

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240761)

Yeah. Imagine what a few helicopter-loads of soldiers, armed with miniguns and impervious to small-arms fire, could do in 30 minutes. They could sieze any building in the world and hold it until their batteries died or reinforcements showed up.

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (2, Insightful)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240935)

30 minutes is an eternity in modern battle. Most firefights last a few seconds.

Re:Knock knock. Who's there? U.S. Military (2, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16241115)

Well, for military purposes, the suit doesn't really need to be small, or even fit through a standard door frame. Like a post above, Starship Troopers (the book not that...other thing) had a suit that made them over 7 feet tall and could carry all kinds of ordinance. Probably room for more than 30 minutes of battery life in a suit like that. Just need to build the motor with enough power to lift the giant duracells. (Possibly solar cells for desert runs?)

What about using it to beat the s4 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240317)

out of alien queens?

Dull (4, Funny)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240323)

Moving heavy patients? Was someone having a contest to see who could come up with the most boring use of super-human strength?

Re:Dull (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240343)

Well, it's better than "Farmers can now throw bails onto even larger trucks to make less trips" :P

You know you're tired when (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240667)

you read the previous post:

Well, it's better than "Farmers can now throw bails onto even larger trucks to make less trips"

and think that it said:

Well, it's better than "Farmers can now throw balls onto even larger trucks to make less trips"

and then proceed to wonder why Farmers are throwing balls on their trucks in the first place.

Re:Dull (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240469)

Moving heavy patients? Was someone having a contest to see who could come up with the most boring use of super-human strength?

It may sound boring to you. Sounds like a really good idea to me...my mother, formerly a nurse, suffered a career-ending neck injury when she had to move a patient by herself in an understaffed nursing home. (The patient suffered from senile dementia, became combative, and she fell with the patient on top.)

After fifteen years, two surgeries, and various physical therapies, she still has significant pain and disability.

Sure, I want to trade in my Subaru for a mecha as much as any geek. But anything that prevents other nurses - the people who have the most impact on keeping you alive when you're hospitalized - from suffering a similar fate, sounds like a damn good idea to me.

Re:Dull (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16241205)

Remember, Japan can't have an army, so that's the cover up. Of course all of the suits have laser gun mount points standard. It a little like the Million Dollar Man

Re:Dull (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240555)

Moving heavy patients? Was someone having a contest to see who could come up with the most boring use of super-human strength?

Reverse it: strap it on to Gramps at 96 and watch him break-dance on a bed pan.
       

Re:Dull (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240617)

Moving heavy patients? Was someone having a contest to see who could come up with the most boring use of super-human strength?

Well, the server may need one now that it is on slashdot.
     

Re:Dull (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240809)

Flinging fat people around like trailers in a tornado is boring to you?

Holy shit man I have to be at your next party

Re:Dull (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240929)

Moving heavy patients? Was someone having a contest to see who could come up with the most boring use of super-human strength?

That's where the money is for something like this. If it were fast, you probably could pick up military applications too.

Dupe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240331)

This dupe is almost a year old. Come on editors...

Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240333)

Now wreckless teens will be using these things to flip over my Honda.

Re:Great.... (2, Funny)

lahvak (69490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240855)

Now wreckless teens will be using these things to flip over my Honda.

You mean they will do that to have a nice wreck, so they won't be wreckless any more?

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16241019)

does it include built in toilet inside? LOL

Equip all Spaceships with this, please (1)

savi (142689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240339)

I doubt I'm alone in thinking that all inter-stellar spaceships should be equipped with one of these near any airlock large enough for an Alien Queen Mother to fit through. I think we should start testing one of these on the ISS immediately.

They mostly come at night.

Mostly.

ISS and Night (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240407)

Day and Night on ISS are much different than on Earth. Day/night cycles don't really exist, and the shuttle flys from daylight to darkness very quickly.

Let's get them all out of the way (5, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240365)

  1. What could possibly go wrong?
  2. I for one welcome our new power-suited overlords!
  3. Does it transform into a semitruck?
  4. Put Rico's Roughnecks on standbye.
  5. Now we need to find a whining Japanese teenage boy who will be required to share living quarters with lots of hot girl and who be the only one who can pilot the mech to save the world.
  6. All hail our giant cyborg President! May death come quickly to his enemies!

OK, we now return you to your regular Slashdotting.

Re:Let's get them all out of the way (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240629)

1. What could possibly go wrong?
      2. I for one welcome our new power-suited overlords!
      3. Does it transform into a semitruck?
      4. Put Rico's Roughnecks on standbye.
      5. Now we need to find a whining Japanese teenage boy who will be required to share living quarters with lots of hot girl and who be the only one who can pilot the mech to save the world.
      6. All hail our giant cyborg President! May death come quickly to his enemies!


You forgot numbers 7 and 8:

7. ?????
6. Profit!!

Missed the most important one of all... (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240649)

1. What could possibly go wrong?
2. I for one welcome our new power-suited overlords!
3. Does it transform into a semitruck?
4. Put Rico's Roughnecks on standbye.
5. Now we need to find a whining Japanese teenage boy who will be required to share living quarters with lots of hot girl and who be the only one who can pilot the mech to save the world.
6. All hail our giant cyborg President! May death come quickly to his enemies!
7. But does it run Linux?

Well, does it?

Re:Let's get them all out of the way (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240677)

Now we need to find a whining Japanese teenage boy who will be required to share living quarters with lots of hot girl and who be the only one who can pilot the mech to save the world

Should we call him Kira Yamato? At least Heero Yuy tried to kill his girlfriend.

Keep Out of Reach of Children (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240369)

"Okay okay, okay, you can have all the cookies, Sandy; and I swear I won't tell Mommy, I swear!"

Power suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240389)

Its funny that the inventors always describe some kind of wonderful and humanitarian use for their products. Yeah - this invention could be used to lift nursing home patients, rescue stray cats from trees, and tow beached whales back out to sea. It also could be used to carry Ma Duece and a hundred round belt, an anti tank missle launcher and a couple of reloads, or a mini gun, ammo and a battery or fuel cell to run the thing. Read Starship Troopers and ask which version the guys at DARPA will fund.

Re:Power suit (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240499)

Read Starship Troopers and ask which version the guys at DARPA will fund.

This is from Japan. Their militaristic ambitions are still low (though perhaps on the rebound), while they have an aging popultion.

In other words (4, Funny)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240391)

The Power Assist Suit could be used by hospital workers to move heavy patients, the researchers say.
Or even fat people, possibly....

Re:In other words (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240631)

"Your momma' so fat, the doctors needed a electrically assisted power suit to lift her onto the stretcher"?

Oh, shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16241247)

My mother is going to buy one, to kick me from her basement =(

Selective reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240393)

LiveScience is reporting out of NextFest on a Japanese-built power suit that amplifies the strength of its wearer. The onboard computer is hooked up to sensors that monitor natural movements, then it inflates cuffs to boost lifting power. The Power Assist Suit could be used by hospital workers to move heavy patients, the researchers say.
[...] Japanese [...] power suit [...] hospital workers (nurses) [...].

Mental anime images overload.

Upse daisy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240401)

"The Power Assist Suit could be used by hospital workers to move heavy patients, the researchers say.""

Hey! Who's up for a game of toss?

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240403)

Yeah, but does it run Linux?

And 2 years prior... (2, Informative)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240409)

The DARPA funded BLEEX [berkeley.edu] was prototyped to allow soldiers to carry 70 pound packs across flat and sloped terrain with hopes of 150 pound capacity in the next 6 monthes.

Both are wonderful applications for exoskeleton technology; between the nature of asymetrical warfare and the retirement of the baby boomers, I think we're going to see alot more veterans and grandpa's go robo. Now if we could only improve that 30 minute battery...

70 pound pack? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240715)

The DARPA funded BLEEX [berkeley.edu] was prototyped to allow soldiers to carry 70 pound packs across flat and sloped terrain with hopes of 150 pound capacity in the next 6 monthes.

Having been in that business ... that's a little weak on the specifications. Soldiers already carry 70 pound packs across flat and sloped terrain (and swamps, and mountains, and everything else). 150 pounds is definitely getting up into the range of severe unpleasantness, but it's not that far out of the realm of possibility for a fit man to carry around. Actually, when you add everything up, some guys -- like those in a machine-gun or Mk. 19 team -- might be carrying close to that with a standard load of ammo. Not something you'd want to run a marathon carrying, but I haven't seen an augmentation system that could run a marathon, either.

Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240417)

Kinda like this [wikimedia.org]?

A true power suit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240421)

In my personal experiance, a mascot costume does wonders. Parading around carrying 20lbs of fur weight, and then proceeding to (literally) pick up chicks (Inclduing some not-so-lean ones) for photo ops. Seriously, it's like you're friggin superman.

Bonus: When you're in a ridiculous costume, the well-endowed chicks can't tell that theres a nerdy /. reader inside.
Super bonus: The pride of saying, "Yes, that mascot runs linux."

And all that noise going on? Just ignore that, it's just some lame football game. ;)

'Elbow cuffs' (5, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240471)

If this thing works buy supplying extra force at the joints, as it appears, then doesn't it carry a serious risk of injuring the extremities? For example, the suit might give you enough power via your elbows to lift something very heavy, but all that power is also being transferred through your wrists and fingers, which as far as I can see are unsupported and unaugmented. The amount of stress it could potentially put on those joints is a little worrying.

I would think a system that covers the entire limb in questions would be far safer...

They could... (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240525)

Likely get longer use time by using some other form of power than electric.
Granted, thats not as cool as elecrtic, but loading docks often have gas/diesel engines running, so one more won't hurt anything.

alternate uses... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240545)

"The Power Assist Suit could be used by hospital workers to move heavy patients, the researchers say.
"

Or to defeat godzilla, wichever happens first.

Deja-Vu? (1)

Warshadow (132109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240563)

Didn't I read this same story about two years ago? right down to the lifting patients out of bed bit. Hmmm.

What *is* it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240565)

with the Japanese and humanoid robots, anyway? Does their entire economy and culture revolve around giant fucking robots?

Mmmm, giant fucking robots...

Double Entandra (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240573)

So when somebody gets hurt and hires a lawyer, will the headline read Suit Suit ?

Re:Double Entandra (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240615)

That reminds me of a CNN headline that read "Reno Extends Gore Probe". It was about Al Gore's arm-twisting phone calls for donations, made from his office. However, more could be read into it from just the headline. If you've ever seen a photo of Janet Reno that headline could give you nightmares!

So, just a few more years until.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240641)

...Knight-a Sabers ACTION!

Ready to Wear (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240723)

I was at the NextFest last night, and I checked out the exoskeleton. If you think you get a blister when you wear shoes a little too big/small, you'll see how you get several inches rubbed off when you wear one of these contraptions. Maybe by the time they replace our outer layers with some synthetic materials we'll be ready to wear these things all day.

There was a really cool android chick, extremely realistic, which didn't seem to mind at all as the humans grabbed and pulled at "her" body. Now that's something we'll probably have people wearing out more pretty soon.

Great! All we need now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16240747)

are some angsty 14 year olds to pilot them...sorry couldn't resist.

Wininng (2, Funny)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240767)

Does this mean I can now use my nerdy prowess as a physical advantage?

I.E.: finally win a armwrestling match for once in my life.

180 pounds? (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240817)

Ok - I may be taller than the average person, and about a stone overweight - but I weigh around 230 pounds. I'd guess that around 50% of the male UK population is over 180lb. So this will need some refining if it ever comes here - and if it ever comes to the US - well, that's a different matter.

It would, however, be far cooler being picked up by a mechanoid person than a vanilla person - I want to know what it sounds like too. If there weren't hydralic hisses and whirrs I wouldn't be happy. Even if the suit doesn't make the noises, they should add them. I just love the idea of being walked down a hospital corridor by a 100lb woman in a suit - whoosh click whoosh click. Ok, perhaps I'm letting my imagination go too far - I won't continue, lest I embarrass myself.

Re:180 pounds? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16241057)

I won't continue, lest I embarrass myself.

Too late!

However: the only think cooler than woosh-click would be total silence. That's unnervingly cool.

It might just be me, but... (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16240965)

...why does it seem that every new "tanuki suit" that comes out has its inventors touting its usefulness in a hospital environment? I just seem to recall hearing about a new suit every couple of years or so that enhances muscles, and it seems like the first thing the inventors say is that it can be used to lift fat (oops I mean large or unweildy) patients and toss them around like mere feathers?

I claim BS. You know damn well that most of this research is gov't funded to create uber-soldiers of the 'Battlefield of Tomorrow', but of course that doesn't make for getting the public behind your cause.

Of course, that's the cynic in me. I can imagine dozens of uses outside of a hospital or Iraq. Construction, for starters...

Queue Popular Science article in three, two, one...

I can't wait... (1)

DarrylKegger (766904) | more than 7 years ago | (#16241025)

to strap one of these to my repulsively obese body. I miss walking. If they make them in my size then I should theoretically be able to make it down to KFC under my own steam, as it were.

Potato and gravy never tastes so sweet as when you've earned it.

Voice Activated (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16241039)

Of course, coming from Japan, the super-powers of this suit will be voice-activated. And not just regular-voice, or sotto voce, the wearer will be required to shout-out the desired function as it is being used.

Fat-Person-Lifting Super-Strength!!!!
New-Bride-Over-Threshold Ultimate-Lift!!
Giant-Cherry-Blossom Power-Tree-Shaker!!!
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