Robotic exoskeleton arms

 Telegraph Multimedia Archive 01514 Dual-Arm-Power-Amp 1514460C
Panasonic-owned firm Activelink Co. built this robotic exoskeleton called a Dual Arm Power Amplification Robot. The Activelink slogan is delightedly science fiction-esque: "Creating a New Human Machine Age." According to the company, "Using Robotic Technology equipment anybody can become a superman. We are bringing this dream one step closer to reality." They should hire Sigourney Weaver as the Activelink spokesperson. More details and video after the jump.

From The Telegraph:

A team of six engineers, under Go Shirogauchi, has been working on the project since 2003 and aims to have the device, which is made of an aluminium alloy, ready to go into practical use by 2015.

"The prime use for the arm will be in disaster zones, where wheeled vehicles are unable to operate but heavy weights need to be moved," Shirogauchi said.

When completed, the arm will serve as a common platform that will have a wide range of interchangeable parts that can easily be installed. Other potential applications include in warehouses and on construction sites.
"Japanese scientists create 'Alien' bionic arm"


  1. So, anybody else want to take up a collection to have the buttoned-down looking Japanese engineer scream “Get away from her, you bitch!” and flail those arms wildly?

  2. That engineer is thinking to himself, “Haha, the fools have no idea how close I am to RULING THE WORLD!”

    Next step: an army of robotic Richard Simmonses.

  3. This will come in handy once we discover the Alien homeworld. In the meantime, maybe we can use it to battle the C.H.U.D.S.

  4. “The prime use for the arm will be in heavy lifting and loading, where wheeled vehicles are unable to operate but aliens need to be thrown out airlocks,” Shirogauchi said.

    There, I fixed it.

  5. I wonder what the lag time on input to movement is? From the exo-frames I’ve seen so far that seems to be the biggest issue with getting a fully working suit. I think something like what Ripley had would be nice, joystick input. Or at least something to decouple the direct movement of your hand with that of the robot. (Similar to playing a video game, you quickly learn to compensate for any delays probably because it’s not seen as a natural movement. You don’t move your thumb to jump, so your brain wires the thumb movement to seeing the object move, not necessary feeling it with your whole body.)

  6. Just don’t turn your back on the thing while you’re swapping out an AE-35 unit.

    To stay in a stable control region, there will always be some lag between input and output movements. Otherwise the device might interpret its own movement as a control input and it would quickly run amok. This would be distressing enough to observe close up, but if you were wearing the device at the time…

    The biggest engineering issues are likely to be actuator mass, power supplies (mass and volume thereof), and how to deal with waste heat. If you accept an exoskeleton tethered by power and cooling cables, the problem is much simpler.

  7. @ackpht I wonder if vibration could induce such resonances, perhaps from wind, running water or shifting rock in such a disaster zone.

  8. Frankly with all the geeks here I’m shocked nobody has made the connection to Exo-Squad…possibly the best cartoon ever. Real shame they never made a live-action movie out of it.

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