That's not to suggest that spaceflyers will soon become superheroes; most of Iron Man's abilities will long remain in the realm of science fiction. But the X1 Robotic Exoskeleton, which NASA is co-developing along with several partners, could give superhuman strength to people on long-duration space missions to an asteroid or Mars, or act as a "resistive device" for exercising, agency officials say.
The 57-pound (26 kilograms) X1 fits over an astronaut's legs, with a harness that goes across the back and shoulders. The exoskeleton has motorized joints at the knees and hips, as well as six passive joints that allow the person wearing it to turn, flex and sidestep as needed. [5 Reasons to Fear Robots]
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