A tech firm, Applied Minds LLC through an insurance company Genworth Financial, uncovered a robotic exo-suit called Genworth R70i Aging Experience that shows its wearers just what it feels like to be old. The robotic exo-suit enables its wearer feel 45 years older in less than five minutes.
Bran Ferren, the president of Disney’s Imagineers and co-founder of Applied Minds is the inventor of the R70i, a kind of suit that helps one feel the side-effects of ageing. The exo-suit fakes vision and hearing loss, as well as reduced mobility from muscle deterioration and arthritis just as if you are old and weary.
In order to try this robot suit, one has to first put on something quite similar to a wetsuit due to the profuse* sweating that occurs. Then an exosuit to which the person is strapped tightly. The suit replaces one’s natural hearing and vision with a distorted version through the use of Oculus virtual reality headset and giant headphones.
You might lose control at some point but don’t worry, a spotter is available to assist you.
Up next are a series of tests to help the wearer of the suit experience some of the setbacks of ageing– the purpose of the suit. The sight is checked using a wireless system that is connected to the suit. This system allows the sight to be blurred and the field of vision to be reduced. By doing this, the operator allows the *wearer to feel what it’s like to have Cataracts. The system is also used to alter natural hearing, making the wearer experience Tinnitus and deafness.
Then the main test focuses on the wearer’s locomotion. This means that your pace will be reduced as you will be given the legs of a 100-year-old to make you feel as if you are walking through a waist-high-mud. All these seek to make you have the real feeling of walking with damaged hip in an uncontrollable way. Well we all want to grow old someday but the feeling is not fanatstic. No wonder some of our grandparents pray for death to swing by whenever they get to a certain age and whenever they hear the news of somebody of their age who passed on.
According to the inventors, the suit is invented to inform people that they need to pay greater attention to the effects of aging on those around us. It’s is really hard to educate people on the pain old people go through since they can’t really understand it, or the physical weakness old people go through that aren’t readily visible. The R70i could also theoretically be used for the opposite result, according to the inventors, to return mobility and senses to the elderly by improving the human body.
In some countries such as Japan, where more than a quarter of the population are older than 70, there’s a great need to build systems that guarantee care for the elderly. And that is one of the things that motivated Ferren’s invention.
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