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Exoskeleton weightlifting

So you think you're strong?
  [vote for,

Weightlifting competitions involve a human walking up steps onto a platform, standing before a weighted bar, bending down, picking it up, and raising it to a predetermined height.

The winner is the human who can lift the heaviest weight.

The proposed new competition allows any kind of externally powered exoskeleton to be used. The only limitation is that the human wearing the exoskeleton has to walk up the steps onto the platform before raising the weighted bar.

Suggested category: Sport: Weightlifting

pocmloc, Nov 07 2019


       Hmm. Can the exoskeleton include legs? If not, leg strength will limit what can be lifted. And if it does, how do you define "walking"? For instance, I could imagine a machine with a sort of toothed roller matched to the steps, which would "climb" the stairs; the human would then be more of a passenger than a participant.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 07 2019

       I guess what you mean is "human must carry un-powered system on to platform".
So the system (exoskeleton) could be up to 500kg (current deadlift record). And you can fit a whole lot of power into 500kg.
Although I think "self-contained power" rather than "external power" would be better. (ie. system must include fuel, batteries, whatever; rather than eg. plugging in to 415V 3 phase power...)
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 07 2019

       Good question [MB]. I was thinking that there should be no reasonable limit on the strength of the exoskeleton. I would say that at least one of the human's feet have to be in contact with the floor for the entire time, and their hands in contact with the bar for the duration of the lift. So, your toothed roller would not count. But the weight of the bar could be carried and transmitted to the floor by the machine, so long as the human's hands and feet remained in contact with the bar and floor for the whole of the lift.   

       This is really just pedantically defining "exoskeleton", so as to differentiate the idea of "exoskeleton" from the idea of "vehicle".
pocmloc, Nov 07 2019

       [ns] I wouldn't want to limit the available power. A 415v 3 phase power cable to a truck mounted turbo generator sounds great.   

       I think that the system can be powered up for the walking, but then it has to walk with the human (so as to keep the human feet in contact with the floor as the human walks up the steps).
pocmloc, Nov 07 2019

       Where do you draw the line though? Couldn't I drive a forklift onto the platform, place my feet on the ground and my hands on the weight-bar?
Frankx, Nov 08 2019

       According to the stated rules, no. You have to walk up the steps wearing the exoskeleton.
8th of 7, Nov 08 2019

       There might be issues of the structural integrity of the bar, if it is to be slender enough for the competitor to safely put their hands around it, but it is to support a weight of a few tons or more at each end. I think the competition rules would specify the physical measurements of the whole place - the number, rise, width and depth of the steps, the working dimensions of the platform, the diameter and grippable length of the bar, and the starting and finishing height of the bar above the platform.   

       The rule on feet and hands touching the floor / bar are part of this definition... the idea is to encourage creative ways to increase the lifting power able to be applied to the bar, with the constraints of the machinery fitting and working around a human body.
pocmloc, Nov 08 2019

       Oops acciedentally deleted annos.   

       [8th] is correct.
pocmloc, Nov 08 2019

       //This is really just pedantically defining "exoskeleton", so as to differentiate the idea of "exoskeleton" from the idea of "vehicle".//   

       Yup. Defining the rules to any sport is a complex and exhaustive exercise. Every competition, someone will be trying to find a loophole. Simple tests like a (field) hockey stick having to fit through a ring of a predetermined size is a good rule as it's simple to state and enforce. Some simple rules can be overcome by novel loopholes like butterfly stroke arising from the simple statement that any symettrical stroke was legitimate breaststroke (actual story may be more complex).   

       The first step here is to clearly define what you mean by exoskeleton. I think of the lifter in Aliens as an exoskeleton, even though it is clearly also a vehicle.
st3f, Nov 08 2019

       //walk up the steps//...oop, yes, didn't read that bit.   

       So if i design a 1000 tonne crane that "walks" up the steps as I "wear" it, that'll be ok?
Frankx, Nov 08 2019

       The vehicle vs exoskeleton question that's been addressed is the key to buns here. I think there need to be some more specifics as to the profile of the exoskeleton.   

       How about saying the device must fit within the profile of the person using it expanded by say, 5 inches?   

       Draw an outline of the person, draw an outline of that outline that expands that outline by 5" and call that the limit the machine must fit into.
doctorremulac3, Nov 08 2019

       The 5" limit is possible but might be too restrictive. I was hoping for extraordinarily excessive feats of engineering and industrial design able to lift stupendously rediculous weights.   

       How about, that the machine has to separately encircle the person's torso, both upper arms and forearms and both thighs and ankles? Is that too loose?
pocmloc, Nov 08 2019

       //How about saying the device must fit within the profile of the person using it expanded by say, 5 inches?//   

       This gives a huge advantage to the morbidly obese, as they have more surface volume into which machinery can be fitted.
Voice, Nov 08 2019

       True, so weight limit on the guys too.   

       Could have different classes, the 1" envelope class, 2"' etc.   

       Compactness is a plus. At some point new technologies to help paraplegics walk might be developed by the challenge of miniaturization.
doctorremulac3, Nov 08 2019

       I'll be wearing an off-the-shelf M113 with a dozer-blade.   

       That should get me through the first round.   

       After that... a rocket motor.
FlyingToaster, Nov 08 2019

       I think the main problem here is that the task (climbing steps, lifting a weight) is too simple. It requires mostly brute force, which opens the door to powerful but uninteresting machines.   

       I think you need to define a repertoire of tasks, each requiring some aspect of humanoid movement, and some also requiring strength. That way, you'll get an exoskeleton that has the sort of versatility that I think most people envisage.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 08 2019

       Just occurred to me that climbing a set of stairs with the heaviest weight possible would be extremely dangerous as well so.. [+].
doctorremulac3, Nov 08 2019

       // a repertoire of tasks, each requiring some aspect of humanoid movement, and some also requiring strength. //   

       "When the bell rings, enter the arena and give the tiger his hiccup medicine ..."
8th of 7, Nov 08 2019

       //powerful but uninteresting machines// Do such things exist?   

       Actually I like the idea of 1", 5", 24" envelope classes.
pocmloc, Nov 08 2019

       // Do such things exist //   

       Yes; gas turbines for stationary power generation.   

       They are extremely dull. Nothing to see, no obvious moving parts, nothing to twiddle ... noisy, useful, but uninspiring.
8th of 7, Nov 09 2019

       //gas turbines for stationary power generation// fascinating.   

       I already suggested //truck mounted turbo generator// as a power source for this device which shows my interest in this class of machine.   

       If you have any spare you don't want I'll have them.
pocmloc, Nov 11 2019


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