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One man builds an exoskeleton and gains superhuman strength

April 28, 2016

James Hobson, a 26-year-old Canadian engineer, got the idea to build an exoskeleton after watching the movie Elysium.

Here at Plant Services, we're always interesting in the melding of man and machine (check out Coming soon to your plant: Iron Man). So we were excited to learn about James Hobson, an engineer who turned movie magic into reality and captured it all on YouTube.

According to Popular Science: "James Hobson, a 26-year-old Canadian engineer, got the idea to build an exoskeleton after watching the movie Elysium. “It was the first time I saw an exoskeleton that was depicted in a way that was somewhat realistic,” he says. He thought he could make a simpler version that actually worked in real life.

Hobson started by attaching some leftover pneumatic cylinders to a brace made of perforated tubing. The resulting upper-body exoskeleton allowed him to curl 275 pounds with relative ease. “But my back was still taking most of the load,” he says, “so we wanted to start from the ground up.” That meant building legs to match.

Hobson designed the pneumatic legs with a stronger steel frame, and in January, he used them to lift the back end of a Mini Cooper—approximately 800 pounds. In February, he lifted an estimated 1,500, raising a pickup truck by its hitch."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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