On Your Mark, Get Set, Exoskeleton

Robotics is poised to change the nature of running as we know it.

 

What happens when robot meets runner? In one company’s vision, it’s a giant mechanized exosuit.

Furrion Robotics Division’s new “Prosthesis,” demonstrated at the most recent CES, combines girders, steelwork and electronics and––while resembling a giant robotic insect––is designed specifically with racing in mind, according to an article on Futurism.com. Amazingly, the all-electric Prosthesis, measuring 14 feet tall, 16 feet wide and weighing 7,700 pounds, can move at speeds of 20 mph and achieve agility that cars can’t match, making it a perfect muse for the sport, the article said.

Though details are still forthcoming, apparently Prosthesis is not meant to function autonomously, but is rather designed as a full-body exoskeletal interface so that humans can partake in what the article describes as a “new form of augmented athleticism.”

Rather than be lumped in with the spate of autonomous vehicles and other robot automation news as of late, Furrion’s founders say the whole point of Prosthesis is to create a new human experience for its pilots, who would have to be athletes, like race car drivers, to operate effectively.

Bizarre, but what isn’t these days. How long before exoskeleton racing is the nation’s most popular past time?

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