Furrion Exo-Bionics unveiled a new giant exoskeleton at CES 2018 that can reach speeds of up to 20 mph. After a second robot will be constructed, the company plans to establish a mech racing league.
Robots are now being used in a wide variety of different fields ranging from medicine to construction and everything in between. Understandably, robotics should be primarily used to enhance our capabilities and make our lives easier, but what if we could also use them for entertainment? Well, that idea isn’t actually that far-fetched at all.
We already have things like Battlebots and drone racing but I think we can all agree that competitions involving bigger robots would be far more entertaining. As it happens, we may soon have the opportunity to witness something like that as Furrion has recently unveiled a new mech and plans to make it part of an upcoming robot racing league.
The mech known as Prosthesis was showcased at CES 2018 after making another appearance last year at the same event. Weighing in at an impressive 3,600 Kg, this new and improved version of Prosthesis is larger and faster than what we saw back in 2017. According to Furrion, the robot can reach speeds of up to 20 mph and can run for up to an hour on a single battery charge. That may not seem that impressive compared to professional athletes like Usain Bolt who managed to reach almost 28 mph, but it’s definitely fast compared to the average human running speed.
Just as its name implies, the mech isn’t an autonomous robot and needs to be operated by a human pilot. Similar to smaller exoskeletons, the mech is only as good as its pilot so the human controlling it would have to be in relatively good shape in order for a potential racing league to be exciting to watch. That’s a not the biggest problem at the moment, however, as there’s only one Prosthesis out there and you need at least two robots for a race.
According to Furrion, building an additional mech is the next step towards what the company hopes to be beginning of a sport dubbed the X1 mech racing league. Not only that but the company plans to establish such a league within two years after the second mech has been completed. Sounds like a tall order but seeing the robot in action gives us hope that a mech racing league could indeed take place in the not very distant future.
Just like last year’s giant robot battle, the X1 mech racing league will probably not be very impressive from the get-go. Judging by Furrion’s latest video, it looks like the exoskeleton is difficult to pilot and doesn’t move very fast as of yet. The mech does show some potential, however, so here’s hoping that it will be able to reach its full potential given enough time.