Thursday, May 17, 2007
Fascinating Invention No.12 - The Super-powered exo-skeleton
If you cannot get hold of a jet pack, then get an exoskeleton because they are pretty good as well. Let me explain. If you take a close squint at the picture of the forklift-truck/fire-extinguisher outfit, you will realise that this is not an actual robot but a person with machinery attached to him or in this case a her because this is a picture of Sigourney Weaver from the film 'Aliens', when Dad says she is, 'not looking her best'. OBVIOUSLY I have not seen this fantastic looking film and have stored it up as one of the forbidden films to be watched round Dexter's house; but I can only think that if I was a girl (shudder) and I was fighting an alien monster (cool) I would not be very worried about if I had the right lipstick on. The point is that the exoskeleton she is wearing means she is able to lift a small car like a bag of sugar and that must be quite handy when it comes to destroying something bigger than you.
The Americans have been working on real exoskeletons (ES). They also want to use them to destroy things, probably aliens if they can find them. The first proper one was developed in 1965 by General Electric and was called 'Goliath'. This one was not very good because they could only get one arm to move at all. So if you wanted to be able to wave, for example a flag, for days on end, then Goliath would have been up for it. If both legs started moving at once, though it lead to "violent and uncontrollable motion" - bit like Dad when he is trying to dance (shudder). They also made the 'Millenium Jet' which is like a one person air-car and you can wear jeans to have a go in this.
Good things about ES: Enough power to lift a small elephant.
Can run as fast as a cheetah on an off day.
Bad things about ES: Enough power to squish the person strapped inside the ES
Not enough power to go for longer than one minute in the air-car. This means NO trips to Tesco and definitely NO room for shopping bags anyway.
Looks cool though.