This uncomfortable exoskeleton makes you feel 75 years old

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If you thought the Mommy Tummy pregnancy simulator was hilarious, try this exoskeleton on for size. This is AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), a suit by MIT's AgeLab that simulates what it's like to be in your mid-seventies. It's not recommended for fisticuffs with xenomorphs.


Here's a list of AGNES' bells and whistles:

Knee and Elbow- Braces limit knee and elbow joint mobility, simulating joint stiffness, increased muscular fatigue, and slowed movements.

Arms- Bands that connect the arm and waist reduce joint mobility in the shoulders, making it harder to reach above shoulder height.

Legs- Straps attached to the harness and shoes decrease hamstring flexibility and shortens gait, promoting slower, shorter, leg movements while walking.

Spine- The helmet and band attachments simulate spinal compression and limit spinal rotation, giving the wearer a sense of curving of the spine that occurs with aging.

Neck- A neck brace reduces cervical spine rotation and extension, simulating increased stiffness and causing the turning of one's head to be a full torso movement.

Eyes- Yellow glasses simulate the natural yellowing of eyes, making it difficult to see contrast and small print, as well as difficulty seeing in low light.

Ears- Earplugs simulate difficulty with high pitched sounds and soft tones.

Balance- Custom shoes simulate the changes in our musco-skeletal system and inner ear that occurs with age, causing imbalance and giving us a feeling of uncertainty with each step.

Hands- Gloves and braces simulate the reduced tactile sensation as well as decreased wrist strength and mobility.


I plan on wearing an AGNES suit every day from here on in. When I finally hit 75, I will shed my exoskeleton like a cocoon and become the living god of senior citizens, spending my days caber-tossing whippersnappers off my lawn.

[MIT via Geekosystem]