Humans are now a little bit closer to becoming cyborgs.
Spring Loaded Technology, a Halifax-based company, has developed a military-grade knee brace that is capable of giving people enhanced strength. Called the Upshot, the device ultimately relies on liquid spring technology that stores energy when the knee bends and releases it once its extended–giving their wearer a boost of power. More simply, the Upshot can help lift up to 100 pounds of body weight when worn on both knees.
“This is not a new idea. People have had this idea for a really long time,” says Spring Loaded Technology CEO, Chris Cowper-Smith. “The challenge has been miniaturizing it and making it compact and powerful.”
The company won a $1 million contract to supply the Canadian military with the bionic knees for testing. Soldiers have already been training with them, and while they report seeing significant results, most still have to get used to the extra spring in their step.
“[The spring compression is] giving me a lot more, so I’m like a deer walking for the first time,” Capt. Marek Serocki said.
The military is concerned mostly with lightening the load of soldiers’ backpacks and equipment. But the good news is that Spring Loaded Technology is also creating a consumer version of the knee brace that can be purchased by anyone. The Levitation Knee Brace sells for $2,380 and, according to the company’s website, they will begin shipping the product Dec 1.
To see the Upshot in action, check out the video above.