The X1 Robotic Exoskeleton, which NASA is co-developing along with several partners, could give superhuman strength to people on long-duration space missions to an asteroid or Mars, or act as a "resistive device" for exercising, according to SPACE.com.
The 57-pound (26 kilograms) X1 fits over an astronaut's legs, with a harness that goes across the back and shoulders.
The exoskeleton has motorized joints at the knees and hips, as well as six passive joints that allow the person wearing it to turn, flex and sidestep as needed, Discovery News reported.
In the short term, astronauts could use the device to add resistive force in microgravity to improve exercising on the International Space Station, NASA officials said.
X1 can record information on each session and stream the data back to Earth, where doctors can monitor an astronaut's progress.
While the device has otherworldly applications, X1 could also be used closer to home, officials said.
The exoskeleton shows promise as an assistive walking device, so it may eventually provide a valuable service to people who have trouble getting around here on Earth.
--ANI (Posted on 24-08-2013)