Weyland-Yutani, er, I mean Panasonic’s Activelink subsidiary have been seemingly fulfilling their fanboy-like passions for years by developing robotic exoskeleton suits called Powerloaders, fondly named after the suits seen in James Cameron’s Aliens. The one pictured above is the Powerloader Light (or PLL for your colonial Marines) and is available to research institutions for a cool $223K. What do you get for a year’s salary as a “Company” man? Plastic Pals provides the deets:
[It] uses a direct force-feedback system to predict and augment your leg movements (increasing strength by up to 40kg [400N]). Six-axis force sensors in the foot pedals sense when you move and shift your weight, allowing the PLL to match your leg movements. The suit could be used as a research platform in robotics, man-machine interfacing, BMI (brain-machine interfacing), and so on, and could target rehabilitation care. The system is designed to operate on Linux2.6, and it totally open to customization by researchers (including the hardware exterior).
Here’s the full press release [PDF] if you’re thinking of buying one, but you’ll need to be brushed up on your Japanese.