Exoskeleton by Skeletonics at CEATEC 2014
CEATEC just opened the exhibition doors today in Makuhari Messe, Japan and the Cutting Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition is already filled with innovative devices created by ambitious and creative individuals from all over the world. The CEATEC exhibition takes places between October 7 – October 11 and it brings together all the innovative new technology you can find today. One of the first exhibitions is the Exoskeleton from Skeletonics, and the device seems to be among the first exoskeleton constructions that work flawlessly.
The Skeletonics Exoskeleton looks as scary as it does futuristic, with a huge body and two arms that you can control by getting into the device as if it were a vehicle or a robot. The exoskeleton is just a prototype, as far as we know and it’s just for show for now, Skeletonics stating that the exoskeleton was a dream come true. The exoskeleton has the added advantage of giving its user a fair amount of extra strength, so that if this device ends up being mass-produced, it will surely be intended for industrial and building workers who would benefit from having weight taken off their shoulders by the Skeletonics Exoskeleton.
The concept of an exoskeleton is not new, with many manufacturers working on their own models, either intended for industrial or for medical use. Companies such as Ekso Bionics, Eythor Bender as well as researchers from Harvard, MIT, DARPA and the U.S. Navy are all working on different exoskeleton models that would help patients with disabilities, workers who carry heavy loads or tech enthusiasts who want to actually feel the virtual world. Skeletonics have created a robotic exoskeleton that costs roughly $46.500, which is a humongous amount of money to spend on an whim.
The Skeletonics exoskeleton was developed by Reyes Tatsuru Shiroku together with members of the 2008 Robocon robot contest winning team. Reyes and his teammates are from the Okinawa National College of Technology and have been working on the exoskeleton since around 2010, with the first prototype presented in 2011. The founded the Skeletonics Inc company in 2013 with headquarters in Hachioji, western Tokyo and began selling the exoskeleton for 5 million Yen – the equivalent of $46.000.
The Skeletonics exoskeleton measures 2.6 meters in height and weighs around 40 kilograms. Currently, it doesn’t require electricity and can’t provide extra strength yet. You have to operate the exoskeleton on your own, by moving your arms and legs. So far, the team hasn’t considered making the exoskeleton actually useful for other things than just a good show, but they will probably try to implement strength or speed boosts into the suit.