There’s all sorts of expensive R&D facilities working frantically to make body-enhancing skeletons into actual things, but the research isn’t limited just to big companies. Two years ago, a YouTuber showed off his Elysium-inspired suit curling 170lbs; last weekend, he decided to life a Mini Cooper.
James Hobson, the man behind YouTube channel The Hacksmith, has made several generations of pneumatically-powered exoskeletons capable of lifting increasingly heavy loads. Hobson used the legs of his most recent suit to lift up the back of a Mini Cooper, a car with a weight of around 2500lbs.
It’s worth noting the caveats here: Hobson isn’t lifting the entire weight, just jacking up the rear wheels. Also, he attached the car to struts on the legs of his suit, rather than using an upper body to lift the car.
Even so, it does pass one of the most important exoskeleton tests: all the power for the air compressor is self-contained, so the user doesn’t have to be tethered to facilitate high-speed wheel changes. Sure, it’s more the future of speedy car mechanics than a vision of a super-soldier, but it’s still one hell of an achievement for a guy in his garage.