Wednesday, 17 October 2012

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X1 - A Real "Iron Man" Suit By NASA

Exoskeletons aka augmented exosuits are getting great hype in various domains. Many of you probably don’t know much about what an exosuit is. It’s a wearable suit incorporated with powered armors and prevents from multiple kinds of environmental conditions including deep water, vacuum of space just like what Iron Man is wearing in its movie.

Recently, NASA has implemented an exoskeleton named as X1 especially designed for its unmanned space missions. The amazing invention by NASA is claimed to serve as load bearing exosuit as well as well-functioning machine.

X1 is a collaborative project designed by Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition of Pensacola, Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston along with FL - a multi-university non-profit research center.  It is a 57 pound heavy suit comprising of legs supported with traps surrounding the shoulders in a backpack style. It mainly offers 10 degrees of being free along with 4 power-driven joints. To add this, 6 reflexive joints intended for going around, pointing, flexing a foot, and turning. The device tends to repeal with the standard exosuit mode with the motors in the workout mode and provides resistance training. This could turn beneficial and helpful to the astronauts for exercising and preserving muscle mass while being in space as large classical machines cannot be carried in the space.

While working in standard help mode, X1 can be useful for the missions occurring on Mars and Moon in order to help the astronauts in lifting weighty boxes. According to some reports, X1’s system storage is likely to get recharged by solar power at the landing site however, it is not officially declared by NASA team.

Michael Gazarik , NASA Space Technology Program chief is quite excited about X1 and has stated that, “What's extraordinary about space technology and our work with projects like Robonaut are the unexpected possibilities space tech spinoffs may have right here on Earth. It's exciting to see a NASA-developed technology that might one day help people with serious ambulatory needs begin to walk again, or even walk for the first time. That's the sort of return on investment NASA is proud to give back to America and the world."


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