Panasonic Developing Real-Life Power Loader Like the One In Aliens

Panasonic Developing Real-Life Power Loader Like the One In Aliens

A video by Panasonic subsidiary Activelink shows an exoskeleton suit that gives the wearer superhuman strength just like in Aliens and is even named the "Power Loader."

If you've watched the '80s sci-fi horror film Aliens, one of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Ripley takes out the queen Xenomorph using the Power Loader. Now, it seems electronics firm Panasonic is making our Alien dreams a reality, as its subsidiary, Activelink, is working on a powered exoskeleton suit that's set to hit the market in 2015.

Activelink, which is Panasonic's robotics research arm, has even dubbed its suit the Power Loader, which, of course, is named after the Caterpillar P-5000 Powered Work Loader from the first Alien movie. This real-life machine will enable the wearer to lift up to 100 kilograms and run at speeds of up to eight kilometers per hour. The firm is also working on a smaller version of the suit, called the Power Loader Lite, that will the human wearer to lift 50-60 kilograms. Both suits will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that will provide several hours' worth of energy.

According to Activelink, the real-life Power Loader will initially be used in construction work, nuclear power plants and emergency situations; though it would like to develop a suit that can be fitted under a spacesuit or diving gear for space and underwater purposes. Thinking of getting one for when aliens invade the planet? The machine will cost 500,000 Yen, which is roughly $4890 when converted to today's exchange rate, but it's still unknown whether this is for the full-scale Power Loader or its smaller brethren.

With the price not being exorbitantly high, are we in for a future where we'll see people wearing Power Loaders in public? If so, count me in.

Source: PSFK via CNET

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well i would say the cost would be for the small one, i can also see the us military jumping up and down over this for its potential for power armour

trippy seeing the obvious influences from aliens too in real life like this

Well, to be fair it is probably in the realm of Obvious Technology. It just makes sense, and I think would have happened with or without Alien (Or other sci fi using it. Because, obvious.) Be interesting to see the Prior Art against the eventual patent. ;)

Alex Co:
Snip

Very cool, in fact I like where this is going (to Enclave powersuits) but Alien was the first movie. You're thinking of the second.

FalloutJack:

Alex Co:
Snip

Very cool, in fact I like where this is going (to Enclave powersuits) but Alien was the first movie. You're thinking of the second.

Holy crap! My memory's failing me! Updated and thanks! :D

FalloutJack:

Alex Co:
Snip

Very cool, in fact I like where this is going (to Enclave powersuits) but Alien was the first movie. You're thinking of the second.

Well they said they wanted it to be something you got into rather than something you wore, so I think the logical evolution of the technology would be less powersuits and more Exo-Squad E-Frames, which would be just as cool as far as I'm concerned.

Here is the intro in case you don't remember that show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0KCB43vL7c

Mooboo Magoo:
Nostalgia!

No no, I remember. Good show. It will probably lead to that too, as much as the rideable mech made in Japan will probably lead to both Gunhed and Gundam.

We've been able to make these for a while now, the problem is utility and cost. Simply put, there's nothing these suits can do that other devices/tools can't already do for cheaper, especially when you consider factories are already built around the use of said devices.

A power loader is, unfortunately, a terrible idea for anything large. If it's on two feet then too much weight focused in too small of an area. Aside from brawling with a Xeno queen, anything it can do a fork lift can do better.

Panasonic isn't owned by Weyland-Yutani is it?

People have already mentioned it, but aren't forklifts pretty decent at what they do? I can see these tipping over easily when you try and pick up something heavy. That said, I think with a bit of tinkering they would be pretty useful on say, the moon, where there's lots of rough ground that a forklift wouldn't handle.

BiscuitWheels:
A power loader is, unfortunately, a terrible idea for anything large. If it's on two feet then too much weight focused in too small of an area. Aside from brawling with a Xeno queen, anything it can do a fork lift can do better.

Stairs. Q.E.D.

Like it said in the video, the purpose of the Power Loaders are for moving heavy things without compromising too much agility. Emergency situations is the perfect example - you can't drive a forklift into a collapsed building to remove the rubble, but a few guys in Power Loaders could get in and shift some concrete around. If you look at just what they showed in Aliens, yeah forklifts are better for loading cargo across a flat surface. But that doesn't mean these things don't have a ton of potential in other areas.

TheRightToArmBears:
I can see these tipping over easily when you try and pick up something heavy.

Obviously there'll be a carrying capacity, but like the movie the arms seem to be pretty low to the ground, giving them more stability.

Alex Co:
With the price not being exorbitantly high, are we in for a future where we'll see people wearing Power Loaders in public? If so, count me in.

Even if it's "cheap," why on earth would people wear these things in public? Even in the movies, a power loader was an industrial tool; it's essentially a forklift on legs.

Meh. Let me know when one is developed that can lift a minimum of a half ton. If one of those electric cars parks in a disabled parking spot and isn't tagged for it, I'd like to grab the thing and move it over.

This is the first step to have fully large sized gundams walking about in the future :D

They say these things have applications in the medical field, especially in nursing and physical therapy. Five grand a pop is pretty cheap in that regard. Though, I think the should consider a mains powered model, with the ability to walk around while it's off or safety mechanisms monitoring the power source. Lithium ion batteries make horrifyingly good fireworks when things go wrong in them. I wouldn't want to wear one on my back the size of a car battery unless I could detach it super quick if I felt it getting too hot.

this is nothing new, the real problem with those is POWER. it needs a lot of pwoer to run this machinery. however this has to be the smallest pwoer supply cable used for any of those machines ive seen so far, so looks like they are doing well.
a robot-dog can afford to carry a diesel engine on its back. a power armor cant really afford having that weight.

NoeL:

BiscuitWheels:
A power loader is, unfortunately, a terrible idea for anything large. If it's on two feet then too much weight focused in too small of an area. Aside from brawling with a Xeno queen, anything it can do a fork lift can do better.

Stairs. Q.E.D.

there are robots that can drive up the stairs becuase they use individual force and amortisation for each wheel. no power loader of course but driving up the stairs is doable, epsecially if you take large size machines which mean the stairs arent that "big" to begin with.

Remus:
Meh. Let me know when one is developed that can lift a minimum of a half ton. If one of those electric cars parks in a disabled parking spot and isn't tagged for it, I'd like to grab the thing and move it over.

actually you hit the nail here very well. i would love to be able to jtu drag those cars out of the disabled parking lots. currently i end up having to compromise in taking pictures and sending them to police (and they get a fine for parking there). doesnt help any actual handicap that drives in during that time though.

 

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