Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Army Mechanic's Garage Tinkering Yields 18-Foot Mecha Exoskeleton

Inside Job: For the new prototype of his mechanical suit, Carlos Owens is planning to feature a chest plate that swings open so he doesn't have to climb in from underneath Jeff Schultz

From PopSci.com:

27 hydraulic cylinders bring the mechs to life, its movements matching those of the person inside it

Carlos Owens had handled all kinds of machines as an army mechanic, but he always dreamed of using those skills for one project: his own "mecha,” a giant metal robot that could mirror the movements of its human pilot.

Owens, 31, began building an 18-foot-tall, one-ton prototype at his home in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2004. Working without blueprints, he first built a full-scale model out of wood. Moving on to steel, he had to devise a hydraulics system that would provide precisely the right leverage and range of movement. He settled on a complex network of cables and hydraulic cylinders that can make the mecha raise its arms, bend its knees, and even do a sit-up.

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