INNOVATION / INVENTIONS AND MACHINES

This Mechanical Engineer Built an Exoskeleton Strong Enough to Lift Cars

This YouTuber made an exoskeleton so good it can let the user lift a car. James Hobson wants to create a sci-fi film worthy exoskeleton ready for everyday wear.


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Some people watch sci-fi films and think - wow the future could be really cool and weird. Others start to make what they have seen a reality. James Hobson is one of those people. He has dedicated nearly a year to designing and building an exoskeleton like the kind seen in films like Elysium or computer games like Call of Duty.

The mechanical engineer built his first exoskeleton to allow him to do bicep curls of ridiculous heavyweight. The exoskeleton works using pneumatic cylinders and levers. Hobson's video of him lifting impossibly heavy things with his new ‘arms’ made him an internet sensation and once he got the taste of the internet bug, he needed to up his game. The next obvious step was to improve the exoskeleton so that he could lift bigger and heavier things. The roadblock in the design came, unsurprisingly, from his own body. While the exoskeleton was doing the majority of the lifting, his lower body still needed to be strong enough to be able to hold the weight of whatever he decided to lift.

Rather than tackle that problem head-on, Hobson decided to design something that would be lifted using the lower half of his body. And so Hobson designed mechanical legs that could lift a car. In the video below Hobson uses the legs to successfully lift a Mini Cooper, calling it a piece of cake. Exoskeleton development is pretty exciting, at its core is finding ways to give humans a mechanical advantage to help them be better versions of themselves. Hobson recently quit his job to focus fulltime on exoskeletons, so stay tuned to his channel to see what’s next.

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