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I am indebted to a commenter on yesterday’s skeletonics post for reminding me of G. John Dick and Eric A. Edwards’ SpringWalker spring-assisted lower-body exoskeleton. Using the slightly half-baked terms I proposed yesterday, the SpringWalker is another notable example of a “passive” exoskeleton, i.e. one that amplifies the speed and range of a motion, but does not actually add power. An oldie but a goodie, the SpringWalker was patented back in 1991, when the term of a US patent was still 17 years, and is thus now out of patent. [Thanks, DanYHKim!]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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