Skip to main content

Furrion Robotics’ 8,000-pound Prosthesis mech takes a big step toward the future

Many a child grows up dreaming of the day when they can pilot a giant robot (or mech, to be precise), only to discover that, like flying cars and blaster pistols, such a thing remains in the realm of science fiction. Naysayers will claim giant mechs aren’t feasible, but that pessimism hasn’t dampened the dreams of inventors who hope to one day make a colossal, walking suit of armor capable of defending the Earth against alien invasions — or even more mundane tasks. Furrion Robotics is going full-steam ahead with research into mechs. Its Prosthesis mech was one of the coolest things at CES 2017, and although the first test run was brief, to say the least, it’s still an exciting project.

Furrion co-founders Matt and Aaron Fidler stopped by Digital Trends’ CES 2018 booth to talk about their creation. Last time Digital Trends checked in with the Prosthesis, it could only tremble. New footage from Furrion now shows the mech taking full steps across a desert landscape. That’s good progress, especially since the Fidlers intend the mech for use not in war, but in racing.

“Once we’re happy with the level we’re at with the technology and the human training … the next step is to build a second mech or a third mech, and then within two years, hopefully, we launch the first X1 mech racing league,” the Fidlers said.

The idea for Prosthesis originated with inventor Jonathan Tippett, whom the Fidlers teamed up with to bring the concept to life. It stands 15 feet tall, and weighs aboau 8,000 pounds. Given its mass, it should come as no surprise that it doesn’t move too quickly, topping out at around 20 mph. That doesn’t mean Prosthesis is easy to pilot, however. The mech eschews computers, relying on the human pilot to move the limbs; as such, pilots will need to be athletic to keep the mech moving.

Prosthesis gets about 90 minutes of power from its batteries, depending on the terrain, and so the Fidlers envision “long-haul, A to B races, where you have energy stops along the way, almost like a pit stop in a Formula 1 racing league.”

Prosthesis is still very much a prototype, but its development so far is remarkable. Mechs may seem a pipe dream, but every so often, a dream comes true.

Will Nicol
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Nicol is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends. He covers a variety of subjects, particularly emerging technologies, movies…
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more
The 11 best Father’s Day deals that you can get for Sunday
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Father's Day is fast approaching and there's still time to buy your beloved Dad a sweet new device to show him how much you love him. That's why we've rounded up the ten best Father's Day tech deals going on right now. There's something for most budgets here, including if you're able to spend a lot on your loved one. Read on while we take you through the highlights and remember to order fast so you don't miss out on the big day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 -- $200, was $230

While it's the Plus version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 that features in our look at the best tablets, the standard variety is still worth checking out. Saving your Dad the need to dig out their laptop or squint at a small phone screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large 10.5-inch LCD display and all the useful features you would expect. 128GB of storage means plenty of room for all your Dad's favorite apps as well as games too. A long-lasting battery and fast charging save him the need for a power source too often too.

Read more