The 530-pound wearable submarine Exosuit

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

exosuit test
The aluminum body makes the Exosuit relatively light.

The 530-pound, heavy-duty aluminum Exosuit may seem like it’s ready for a mission to the moon, but it’s actually an atmospheric diving system – a one-man suit made to withstand the intense pressure of the deep ocean. For the first time ever, scientists are going to use the one-of-a-kind suit to study special fish and learn a thing or two about the human brain.

The protective covering has 18 flexible joints which allow the wearer to move naturally. A person wearing the Exosuit could swim around normally if they really wanted to, but with 4 powerful thrusters available, it would be a waste of their own energy. The constant Earth-like pressure inside of the six-and-half-foot tall armor protects from diving dangers such as “the bends” – a sickness that occurs when a diver surfaces too quickly for the body to adjust to the changing pressure. The Exosuit carries enough power and oxygen to keep a diver underwater for more than 2 days at a time, which should be plenty of time to study special marine creatures.

In this case, researchers are hoping to learn more about fish biofluorescence  – the process of absorbing light and emitting it as a glow with different energy. The biofluorescent fish can give off light in all kinds of colors and patterns, and researchers want to know what kind of chemical reactions allow this radiant process to happen. Additionally, researchers will study proteins involved in the biofluorescent display. By examining how they react to electricity, the scientists will understand how exactly electricity affects brain activity, and ultimately teach human brains to interact with robots. Whoa!