Article Image

IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

All-terrain exoskeleton turns your body into a superhuman e-hiker

•, By C.C. Weiss

Next up: the X1 from Chinese startup Dnsys. Slap this piece of motorized AI onto your waist and thighs and upgrade your anatomy with an extra 900 watts of walking, hiking, scrambling, climbing and running power. The X1 shoulders up to 83 lb (38 kg) of load, empowers user speeds over 16 mph (26 km/h) and packs down small for travel.

Even after years of covering safety, industrial, military and medically targeted exoskeletons, the idea of a wearable recreational performance-booster didn't come anywhere near our radar until Hypershell put its Omega lineup on Kickstarter just over a year ago. That looked like an off-the-wall one-off at the time, but it might just have kicked off the age of the temporary-cyborg adventure-seeker.

Just like ebikes open up doors to fitness and exercise for people who might not dare to take off on a long cycle without some assistance, these recreational exoskeletons promise to welcome people to hiking and climbing experiences that might otherwise be beyond their fitness level. So while the idea might sound like complete sci-fi lunacy right now, these things could end up being extremely useful, and a very liberating way to bypass physical constraints.

Like Hypershell, Dnsys is introducing its wearable outdoorsy exo via Kickstarter, with a campaign that's set to launch at 9 a.m. EDT today. And it's clearly used Hypershell's exoskeletons for benchmarking, looking to outperform them on every line item of the spec sheet.

The X1's bragging rights start off with a lighter 3.5-lb (1.6-kg) build that ducks below the 4-lb (1.8-kg) weight of the lightest Hypershell model from last year's Kickstarter campaign. Meanwhile, the X1 puts out 100 watts more than any Hypershell, resulting in an extra 18 pounds (8 kg) of weight-offsetting capability, which estimates in at 83 lb (38 kg) total.