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Robotics

DIY 18-ft.-High Robotic Exoskeleton 206

Hacx sends along a piece from PopSci that begins "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. ... He foresees mechas having uses in the military and the construction industry, but acknowledges that right now they're best suited to entertainment. The first application he has in mind: mecha-vs.-mecha battles, demolition-derby style."

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