Man and Machine Becoming One



Exo suit made by NASA called X1 robotic exoskeleton.

Dominic Fightmaster, Tech Writer

For years, humans have been working and building computers. The first programmable computer was made in 1936 by a German man named Konrad Zuse. Over the years, computers have been upgraded. They get better graphics and the ability to run games. Computers now are vastly different than they used to be. A very famous idea is humans putting mechanical parts in themselves or becoming more machine than man. These people can be called cyborgs. How could they do this, you ask? Say you want to be stronger but you don’t want to do it physically; you could get a robotic arm that would allow you to be stronger. Although this idea is theoretical, let’s say that it is not.

Let’s look at the definition of cyborg. A cyborg is a hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body. There are people who think putting tech/mechanical parts in humans is not a good thing, and they have good reason to think this. A reason for doing this is if a person loses a limb, they could get it replaced. This limb could be way better and stronger allowing the person to do more than they could before. Currently, there are companies that provide people who have lost limbs with artificial ones. Although they don’t really make us stronger, they are just giving them the ability to do things again. 

It is possible that in our future we could see soldiers running into battle with mechanical parts. This is something that movies use as well. In the movie “Edge of Tomorrow,” we see the main character wearing a thing called a powered exoskeleton. What is a powered exoskeleton or an Exo suit? It is a wearable machine powered by a system of electric motors. They allow people to have limb movement and have increased strength and endurance. A good example of one is one created by the Youtube channel, The Hacksmith. He and his team built an Exo suit from the game Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. It worked as expected, but it didn’t let them boost jump around like in the game. They were capable of picking up a vehicle without much effort. It allowed them to hold onto things for longer times.

How could Exo suits change the world we know? These machines, as I have said, could allow people to hold and pick up things that they never could. Construction workers could use them to carry metal bars to locations. Let’s say that a major earthquake just hit. Rescuers could be equipped with suits so they could break through rubble and get to a person. This could also allow them to traverse the destroyed land easier. The First FDA approved exoskeleton called ReWalk costs between $69,000 to $85,000. The suit weighs 51lbs or 23.1kg. 

An exoskeleton would be a great thing to have in the world. All the prosthetic limbs that we have can provide a lot of people to do things again. It cost between $20,000 to $100,000 to get a myoelectric arm. This arm is controlled by your muscle movements; they could help a lot of people if they have problems. Humans always strive to reach new heights and try to better themselves. We have been giving people who have lost limbs prosthetics for years now. Hopefully, in the years to come, we can see some major improvements in prosthetics and a lot more people regaining their abilities to do physical activities again.