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News Link • Inventions

Exoskeleton concept gives firefighters super strength and speed

•, Robin Burks
An exoskeleton not only protects the body, but also lets a person carry heavier loads and get assists in things like walking, running, and other muscular movements. DARPA is already building exoskeletons for soldiers in the field, and NASA is testing exoskeletons that help astronauts exercise in space. Now, a student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has extended that idea to firefighting and has designed an exoskeleton concept that will assist firefighters.

When battling flames, firefighters are usually weighed down with a lot of necessary gear, nearly 50 pounds of it. In emergencies, that weight might be as much as 125 pounds. If that isn’t enough, firefighters also have to run up a lot of stairs and carry people in rescue missions. This puts a lot of stress on their bodies and slows them down. Unfortunately, this means that fewer people get rescued.

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