The idea of powerful hydraulic exoskeletons has enjoyed some fresh popularity thanks to the contraptions’ presence in recent blockbusters such as Elysium and Edge of Tomorrow. Inspired by Elysium in particular, YouTube user the Hacksmith has spent months working on an exoskeleton of his own. Now, after 16 videos documenting the process of building and designing it, he has finally successfully tested the ambitious device.
Think you need the budget of the military or a megacorporation to make an exoskeleton for heavy lifting? Nope — all you need is some standard parts and the know-how to put them together. James Hobson (aka The Hacksmith) has finished a homemade robotic suit whose pneumatic cylinders let him curl 171.5 pounds’ worth of cinder blocks with relative ease. While it’s not the most sophisticated setup, it’s only running at half pressure and could potentially double the load with a compressor upgrade. There’s a work log at the source link if you’re eager to see how this project came to be. With that said, you’ll want to be cautious about trying this yourself — there aren’t any leg supports so far, and those blocks aren’t exactly harmless. If you’re like me, you’ll probably feel safer watching Hobson’s demo video below.