Watch out, Iron Man.
[More from Mashable: The Shiny Mars Mystery Object: 10 Things It Could Be]
While it may not have the superpowers of Tony Stark's armor, NASA has built a robot exoskeleton called "X1" that can keep astronauts healthy in space, and help paraplegics walk on earth, according to the space agency.
Humans wear the 57-pound device over their body to "assist or inhibit movement in leg joints," NASA said in a release. In the inhibit mode, X1 would be used as an exercise machine to provide resistance against leg movement in space's zero-gravity environment; while, the very same technology could be used in reverse on earth, by helping some people walk.
[More from Mashable: 15 Twitter Accounts Every Space Lover Should Follow]
"NASA is examining the potential for X1 as an exercise device to improve crew health both aboard the space station and during future long-duration missions to an asteroid or Mars," NASA said. "Without taking up valuable space or weight during missions, X1 could replicate common crew exercises, which are vital to keeping astronauts healthy in microgravity."
Along with the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems, NASA has jointly developed X1, which is currently in a research and development phase.
To see the device in action, check out the video above.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Science, Social Science, & Humanities
- Space & Astronomy