When you think about exoskeletons, you no doubt think of large, bulky robotic suits that people step into, like Iron Man’s suit. However, exoskeletons don’t have to be quite so bulky and annoyingly heavy. As a matter of fact, as technology gives us the ability to shrink a bunch of heretofore unshrinkable stuff down, we will start to see exoskeletons that are downright cute and cuddly. Case in point? DARPA, yes that DARPA, has teamed up with a Harvard research company to create an exoskeleton that is fabric based and, well, actually sort of comfortable.
DARPA and Harvard’s Wyss Institute has entered into a Tango and Cash-like partnership to create something they are both calling the Soft Exoskeleton. Why is it called that? Well, because it’s a soft exoskeleton. It’s actually made from fabric, so when the design is fully realized, it’ll sort of feel like just putting on regular clothes, only with the benefits of being of a pseudo-superhero. What can it do? You wear them like pants and they support and lend their strength to leg movements, thus making one able to run faster and jump higher. It’s powered via a group of embedded sensors and microprocessors.
Primarily, this technology is being developed so soldiers can avoid injury for longer periods of time while out in the field. Although, the creators say it could be equally successful in the consumer world, helping people walk longer distances without obtaining the dreaded foot fatigue. Of course, this is high tech stuff, so don’t go looking for a pair at your local exoskeleton store. You do have one of those, right?
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.