Russia’s New Exoskeletons Are Here – What is the Future?

  • The first batch will include 20 units.
  • The exoskeletons have been tested by 600 people.
  • There are passive and active type of exoskeletons.

Russia announced the final stage in the development of exoskeletons. The project design and implementation is done by the Norilsk Nickel Digital Laboratory, in partnership with Kursk State University. A powered exoskeleton (also known as power armor, powered armor, powered suit, exoframe, hardsuit or exosuit) is a wearable mobile machine that is powered by a system of electric motors, pneumatics, levers, hydraulics, or a combination of technologies that allow for limb movement with increased strength and endurance.

Nornickel is Russia’s leading metals and mining company and the world’s largest high-grade nickel and palladium producer. Kursk State University is Kursk’s oldest higher educational institution, founded in 1934 as Kursk State Pedagogical Institute.

Russian exoskeleton prototype.

According to the director of the Institute, the new exoskeleton allows space for an on-board computer, which in real time helps to track, among other things, the level of gas pollution in the surrounding air, temperature, illumination and user mode. All data is output to a mobile device or to a corporate network.

The first production of the intelligent exoskeletal system will be 20 units. Its frame is made of light and wear-resistant materials that is attached to the body, repeating human biomechanics. Industrial designs are designed for lifting, carrying and holding loads, as well as for performing work related to long-term static state. Exoskeletons are used to prevent injuries in the workplace and help improve production efficiency.

The samples developed by Norilsk Nickel can take up to 90% of the weight. The current version is equipped with gravity compensators and electric drives. Gravity compensators, also known as a gravity field compensators, are used in space on turbolifts and passageways aboard space stations and starships in order to help transition through differing gravity orientations.

Passive exoskeleton.

Thus far 600 people have tested the product. The exoskeletons market is estimated to be over $200 million annually and is expected to grow. In 2030 the market is expected to be at $10 billion annually.

Currently, Boeing is working on a modified version as well. Exoskeletons have a myriad applications:

  • medicine
  • sports
  • construction
  • defense
Active exoskeleton.

Exoskeletons are divided into passive (working due to various springs, counterweights) and active (Electromechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, combined, etc.). Depending on the power supply systems, exoskeletons can be autonomous or non-autonomous; by design, there can be exoskeletons of the upper or lower body, as well as full-size ones.

For example, a passive exoskeleton with a human interface to capture movements of the human right arm, including the upper shoulder, can be used to teleoperate higly complex robotic systems in an intuitive way.

An active exoskeleton is a human interface for motion capturing and force interaction. The system is fixed at four points to the human body and can interact with the user at the upper shoulder, upper arm and forearm.

The global market will continue to expand in this field.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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