By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
How awesome would it be to have superhuman strength? Not only could you help your mom bring in all the groceries in one go, you could probably lift couches and cars with no more than your pinky!
Well, a team of students from the University of Pennsylvania have invented what they call the Titan Arm, and while it won’t let you flip over cars at a whim, it’ll definitely give a person superhuman strength.
The Titan Arm is an exoskeleton bionic device that can be strapped onto a person’s right arm. Then, they can use its machinery to easily lift up an extra 40 pounds without breaking a bead of sweat!
“With the Titan Arm, we wanted to create something that could both augment a user’s natural strength as well as help someone perform physical therapy in their own home,” says Elizabeth Beattie, one of Titan Arm’s inventors. “We wanted to create something that was low-cost and easy for a user to put on and strap to themselves.”
The students see the Titan Arm as a very helpful tool for those individuals who suffer from muscle diseases that leave them weak and unable to lift heavy objects. It would also be useful for workers who have to haul heavy objects all day.
However, before Titan Arm becomes available for the public to use, there are a few safety concerns to tackle. As engineer and inventor JD Albert points out, the invention may be designed to provide strength, but it’s still a chunk of metal. The machine needs to feel absolutely natural in order to work properly.
Those concerns don’t phase Beattie or her three team members, though. “The four of us definitely want to use our engineering tool kits to better the quality of life of those around us,” she says, adding, “I think that’s one of the things that technology really has the power to do.”
Images courtesy of Titan Arm.