Athletic events of the future will be all about human-driven mechs

Credit: Anti-Robot

We squishy little humans have been dreaming of encasing ourselves in metal bodies for years now. From Ellen Ripley to Tony Stark, the heroes of Sci-Fi often find greatness once they've donned their mechanical exoskeletons. Tech developers the world over, from Sony to the U.S. Army, are hard at work constructing intelligent suits capable of lending people super-human robotic strength. But one group of volunteers wants to turn that relationship upside down.

The folks behind the Prosthesis exoskeleton imagine a world where humans lend their muscles and brain power to robots. Each Prosthesis robot would stand two stories tall on four massive legs. A human pilot, suspended within the robot's chest, would control these limbs with gauntlets affixed to their arms and legs. By swinging their own arms and legs like a skier frantically trying to out-run an avalanche, the pilots would trigger hydraulics powered by a 50KW electric power plant. No computers, just good old-fashioned people power.

Once these massive robots are assembled and pilots are trained, you might imagine that these giant mechas would be sent into battle or assigned to patrol the city streets, but he folks behind the Prosthesis project have a better idea: track and field events. Someday, Prosthesis robots might compete in sporting events somewhere between NASCAR and the 100-meter dash.

Pilot skill and fitness levels would play major factors in how well each Prosthesis performed, so the future of sports just might look a whole lot like the world of Pacific Rim, with top pilots being cheered by fans right alongside their Prosthesis exoskeletons. If you'd like a ride inside a Prosthesis suit, you can head on over to the project's Indiegogo page and sign up for a co-pilot's ride during the Prosthesis demo day in Vancouver. The experience will cost you $300 (Canadian), airfare not included.

Anti-Robot, via Indiegogo

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