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NASA exoskeleton suit is half way to Iron Man

Iron Man's suit may be the most famous exoskeleton in the world right now, but NASA is giving it some real-life competition with the X1 Robotic Exoskeleton.

X1 Robotic Exoskeleton
It's a wearable robot. Sweet.
Robert Markowitz

The X1 Robotic Exoskeleton looks like a cross between the legs of a Stormtrooper and a Transformer. The suit is a spinoff from NASA's Robonaut 2 humanoid robot project.

The X1 is focused on either helping or hindering a person's legs, depending on its job description. When it's set to inhibit, the X1 resists movement and could be used to help astronauts exercise in space. When it's set to help, it could be used to assist paraplegics and others with lower body injuries with walking.

Four motorized joints and six passive joints give the 57-pound suit a good range of motion. It also gives it some nice Iron Man flavor, minus the propulsion feet.

The X1 is a joint effort from NASA, The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, and the awesomely named Oceaneering Space Systems.

It's still deep in the research and development phase, but the suit could some day be used both in space and on Earth. I'm also imagining a robotic suit like the one Ripley wears in "Aliens" to move gear and battle nasty creatures. I'm sure this is what NASA had in mind when they started on the X1 project. Somebody is going to have to step up and fight the alien queen.

(Via The Verge)