Iron Man-Style Exoskeletons Could be Reality in 30 years

If you loved the motion picture ‘Iron Man’ you will be interested in what the researchers at the University of Victoria in British Colombia have to say. They believe that a sci-fi robotic suit could become a reality in the next three decades.

Paul Zehr a neuroscientist said that the exoskeletons like what the Iron Man wore would become a reality. He added that while these exoskeletons would not allow people to fly they would have practical uses such as helping those with spinal cord injuries to walk.

Zehr said that they already have technology that can read the electrical activity in the brain and do simple things. Scientists have been conducting research with monkeys where electrodes plugged into the brain can control a robot arm. For Tony Stark to be able to move around naturally in the Iron Man suit, it would have to be directly connected to his nervous system, he added.

For such a device to be controlled directly by the brain a much more powerful technology will be needed as opposed to the use of an electrode attached to a headband which allows the wearer to control a cursor on a computer screen. The robotics for such a suit are already ready, its just the connection to the brain that needs to be worked out.

Where we are a long way off is that the only way to do that kind of sophisticated control is by putting electrodes right into the brain, and in humans it's only been done a few times. We've only done that for very simple things, usually during some kind of neurosurgery for something like Parkinson's Zehr explained.

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