Exoskeletons are not a brand new idea. Several years ago, Sigourney Weaver had one to help put those pesky Aliens in their place, and the resistance in the Matrix used an even mightier kind to fend off the sentinels. Then of course, Iron Man took it to a whole new level.
Now, as reported by Andrew Hard in Digital Trends, Ford have found a slightly different use. It may be a little less exciting than saving humanity, but it should be rather useful and certainly safer to use. The EksoVest decreases strain on the human body, making the work physically easier, and so increasing productivity and morale. When you take a good look at many manufacturing processes, quite a lot of it involves shifting things around.
So as robotics should be all about helping people work more safely and efficiently, this is an idea that could catch on. So, robotics makes you happier. And should Aliens invade, or you opt for the red pill, your basic training is already done.
Instead of a fully automated machine, the EksoVest is an assistive upper-body exoskeleton that helps assembly line workers do their jobs more efficiently. It sprung from a partnership between Ford and Ekso Bionics — a company that has worked with BMW in the past — and is aimed at reducing the chance of fatigue and injury at work.