With Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi adventure Elysium looming on the horizon, badass exoskeletons have been at the forefront of many of our minds lately. They’re awesome. And because we’re too lazy to go to the gym—I mean, I don’t have time to go to the gym, sure—don’t we all want some cool mechanical assistance to help us pick up all the heavy things we lift in a given day?
All of us lazy slobs are in luck, because science has given us the Titan Arm exoskeleton. A group of engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania are behind the project, which recently took home second place in the Penn Engineering competition. Built on an aluminum frame, the prototype is powered by an electric motor and rigged together with a series of cables and pulleys. There’s even a comfortable, ergomatic hand control. It goes without saying that that’s also a surprisingly epic hype video the team cobbled together.
On the surface, this device, which presently has the capacity to lift up to 50 pounds, could be used to help out in all manner of ways. You could use it in jobs that require repetitive heavy lifting, to help with the rehabilitation of injuries, and to assist those with mobility issues. My working theory, however, is that UPenn team actually went through the effort of putting Titan Arm together in order in order to win an arm-wrestling tournament, perhaps an event like the one in Over the Top. Do they still do things like that, or was that an ’80s phenomenon?