In raising-our-hopes news, NASA has announced that it has designed a new robotic exoskeleton to give astronauts “superhuman strength” on space flights. NASA also announced that their robotic exoskeleton would not give astronauts superhuman strength.
One NASA project lead explained. “That’s a common misperception. We stated up front that these suits could create real-life versions of “Iron Man” hero Tony Stark, and we stand behind that. Every test so far has shown that simply wearing the exoskeleton strengthens and intensifies the subject’s arrogance, insolence, and alcoholism.”
Conventional methods of enhancing human strength in space have focused on bombarding astronauts with cosmic rays. However, this method has been found to be only 25% effective, and generally results in the subject’s skin being converted into orange rocks. Side effects can also include loss of bone structure, invisibility, and a burning sensation.
The X1 Robotic Exoskeleton (worn by an arrogant, insolent drunk in the picture above) is being developed by NASA with the assistance of the Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and Houston-based Oceaneering Space Systems. When asked what robotic exoskeletons have to do with machine cognition and oceanic engineering, a NASA press spokesman explained that the companies had been the seventh callers in a recent Department of Defense radio contest sponsored by WNAS in Cocoa Beach and K-104 “The Rock” in Houston. The prototype for the X1 was the product of a drunken one-night stand between NASA’s Robonaut 2 and IHMC’s Mina Exoskeleton. Oceaneering Space Systems brought the beer.
Neither Robonaut nor Mina could be reached for comment. NASA asked that the media respect their privacy.
One use that is being considered is for exercise in the microgravity of the International Space Station. By wearing the 57-pound suit in a zero-g environment, an astronaut gains the benefit of adding zero pounds to his weight training regimen. The suit also has the ability to record information about the astronaut’s condition and stream it directly to the NSA, which is only one letter different from NASA, a distinction hardly worth mentioning.
(At this time, I always like to give a tip of the hat to the NSA spyware that is attracted by any mention of the NSA. I wish to thank them for their service to our country, and ask them not to send a drone to monitor my exercise regimen.)
When asked why the X1 did not have robotic arms, NASA officials explained that it was a safety feature to prevent monkeys from controlling the suit’s arms with their minds. “We know that baboon cells in the Netherlands have been working on the robot arm mind control problem for a while now. We believe that they are still years away from controlling robot legs telepathically, and by that time, we hope to send the X1 into space, where they can’t get to it.”
When asked why the Exoskeleton was not called the E1, NASA officials explained that capital E’s are very fragile, and cannot withstand the forces necessary to reach escape velocity. “Those arms at the top and in the middle would snap right off, and then you’re stuck with an L1 Robotic Exoskeleton, and that just looks funny. That’s why you don’t see that many space missions from the Luropean Space Agency (ESA).”
One NASA engineer, who requested anonymity out of sheer spite, explained that the X1 could some day produce the high torques necessary for superhuman feats such as walking and stair climbing.
(Click on the picture to read the original article.)