From the start ups through to the major conglomerates, there is a certain type of magic and innocence about feats of human engineering.
When attending CES, you expect to just see the odd drone here and a run of the mill car there, but you don’t expect to stumble into the shadow of a 15 foot colossus! Amazingly, this giant (“Prosthesis” is his name) had an owner in the form of Furrion Exo-Bionics; a research initiative that is focused on the development of high performance exo-bionic mobility platforms; or in short, Mechs.
Furrion were at CES showcasing their latest technological developments, wherein we stumbled upon their exoskeleton which weighed in at a whopping 8,000 pounds and measured across at around 16 feet wide. It’s important to note that Prosthesis is an exoskeleton and not an autonomous robot; it needs a human’s movements and engagement to allow it to move, an example of which can be seen in the haulage exoskeletons in the film Aliens. Talking to one of the pilots at Furrion, Sam Carter, we asked what their plan was and what it was that they set out to achieve. Would the exoskeleton used to aid disabled people or working in warehouses to move products? He smiled and suggested that these were good ideas, but simply stated the main goal for the future of Furrion Exo-Bionics, and that is to start a Mech Racing League.
Due to our amazed silence (probably as we were contemplating a real life Voltron), Sam took it upon himself to outline the next phase for Prosthesis; further improvements that will enable him to run at around 10 mph (with the theoretical top speed set at 20mph), enhancing his flexibility so that he can step over obstacles and tackle the rugged terrain of the desert, and the ability to run for up to one hour on a single charge. To say we were shocked is an understatement: we were blown away. To the cynic, this seems very much a farfetched idea, but when you see Prosthesis up close, feel the solid structure of his body and see the progression of his walk (which can be seen on YouTube), it’s a very believable reality.
For years now, people have sat and watched the likes of Nascar and Formula 1, enticed by streamlined machines. When you grasp the idea of replacing the small automobile for a metal juggernaut, you can’t help but feel giddy with excitement that you could be witnessing the birth of a worldwide phenomenon. The future for Furrion at present is rooted in the acquisition of more funding, from which they plan on building another, more enhanced model of Prosthesis. Going forward with the Mech Racing League, they have stated that they “will be working with new partners, sponsors and athletes to bring the league to life.”
To find out more about Prosthesis and the progress that Furrion is making, go to www.furrion.com/services/exo-bionics.html or find them on social media.
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