On this day when the world's thoughts are turning to a comic book hero with vast financial resources who armors himself in a powerful mechanical suit, it's fitting that we take a look at a little bit of tech from the University of Pennsylvania that proves Hollywood imitates life.
The team behind a project called TitanArm is working to develop a fully-powered upper-body aluminum exoskeleton that is lightweight, inexpensive, and durable, and gives real augmented strength to its wearer. Its guts are home to a battery-powered motor that controls the cable-drive system and is piloted by a little thumbstick.
Once you're suited up, you can expect to lift 50 pounds with one hand like it's nothing, and feel no fatigue until the batteries run dry.
More important than simply lifting heavy items (or just merely showing off at the gym), TitanArm is intended to give upper-body strength and stamina to those with physical impairments either due to handicap or old age.
By serving as an easy-to-use and inexpensive piece of equipment, TitanArm can readily improve quality-of-life and autonomy for people who need the helping hand/arm/whatever. It can even be rigged for doctors to monitor what's going on in the body as the muscles work and applied to physical therapy work.
No word from the UPenn team yet as to whether it comes in gold and red.