At least manually. The people at Equipois have been messing with exoskeletal attachments for quite a while now and their upcoming X-Ar might just be the kind of hardware that reinvents manual labor as we know it. You see, no matter the skill and dexterity, the human arm can’t handle that much weight to begin with.
Enter the X-Ar, which is short hand (get it?) for exoskeletal arm support. Not only does it give its user a boost, but requires no effort to operate. This means, according to Equipois’ mainman/CEO, that “Now you need young, burly guys to operate 15 pound tools, and even they will burn out their shoulders. [With X-Ar] you put your arm on there and you could have a 105 pound woman who happen to have great fine motor controls do it all day long.”
While the X-Ar isn’t a full body contraption, it can transform certain professions. Surgeons, for example, can perform extended operations without the risk of fatigue. The same with assembly line types who spend their working day putting together parts—the X-Ar is a radical extension of the arm that allows its wearer to perform a specific labor-intensive task to the utmost.
The X-Ar isn’t out yet, but it will soon. Expect it to be made available for different industrial applications by May. The price range is believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 each.
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