comScore Daewoo Testing Robotic Exoskeleton for Manufacturing Workers | The Mary Sue

Shipyard Workers Testing Power Loaders Robotic Exoskeletons With Super Strength

"Ripley Cosplay" is now valid manufacturing experience.

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Sorry, DARPA. You may have your crazy robot army, but a South Korean shipyard is pioneering xenomorph queen-killing—er, I mean—powered robot exoskeleton technology. Robotics have come a long way towards stealing our jobs and making everything more efficient, but they’re still lacking as far as making decisions on the fly, so human-robot synergy could really change manufacturing.

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is already way ahead of the rest of the world in the automation of their manufacturing process, and now they’ve got workers wielding 30 kilogram objects (about 66 pounds) as though they weighed hardly anything at all. The exoskeleton itself weighs nearly the same amount, but it moves effortlessly along with the wearer during its three-hour battery life.

This is only the beginning, though. Aside from difficulties on slippery or sloped surfaces, the reaction from workers has been very positive, and they’re already requesting the ability to lift heavier objects—up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Not only does the exoskeleton allow them to lift heavier objects with less strain, but it allows workers to be more precise when welding heavier pieces, because they don’t have to deal with cumbersome weight.

They should probably work on building out the cage around the wearer’s face, too. It’s very important for protecting against sharp tail attacks and probably real safety problems, too.

(via New Scientist, image via Daewoo)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.