Japanese engineers have developed a powered exoskeleton based on the “power loader” used by Sigourney Weaver in the climax of Aliens.
The machine, developed by Japanese engineering group Activelink, is officially called the “Dual-Arm Power Amplification Robot,” but that’s lame and boring – so this pair of robot arms is unofficially referred to as the “power loader” after its Hollywood inspiration used by Ellen Ripley to kick some Xenomorph ass in Aliens.
The power loader is being developed for use in disaster relief situations, and will allow the user to easily lift weights in excess of 100kg (220.46 lbs). Unfortunately, the exoskeleton itself weighs 230kg (507 lbs), making it difficult to use without proper support – and heavy enough to crush most average humans.
In speaking with news.com.au, Chief Engineer Go Shirogauchi said that safety for the operator was the primary concern – and that it wasn’t just about the device’s weight, either. “The most important challenge is not to injure the operator with the amplified power … for that challenge, a delicate control and a mechanics design which does not put too much force onto a human in the worst situation is required.”
Though the exoskeleton’s primary use will be construction and disaster relief, Shirogauchi said that it was being designed with modularity in mind – as a “common platform” that could be specialized for any number of construction jobs, similarly to how a “truck can be converted to a dumper truck, a cement mixer car, a crane car, a fire engine, a bus or something else by replacing the carrier.”
While the most obvious (and totally badass) modification would be to load that bad boy up with some serious f*ckin’ firepower, Shirogauchi said Activelink had no plans for a combat model. Really, guys? You build a powerful robot exoskeleton and then don’t let us kick ass with it?
That is so unfair.