Would you wear 'pneumatic trousers'?
Air-powered clothing, designed to give enhanced joint power, has been developed by design students at Royal College of Art in London.
Still at prototype stage, the concept uses a series of connected air bags placed over the limbs, to generate physical lift.
A variety of bionic legs have been developed around the world with varying success, mostly employing a mechanical, exoskeleton structure. These have been used to restore the ability to walk, and aid rehabilitation in those who have damaged their legs.
Car manufacturer Honda has also developed bionic leg attachments, designed to take the strain off human legs as they walk, improving efficiency.
The team at the Royal College believe their pneumatic design offers a more "natural" experience, and could be made self-powering with the aid of an integrated foot pump. It was originally designed with the aim of helping the elderly perform simple, occasional actions, like standing up from a sitting position.
Dougal Shaw spoke to one of the creators, Tanya Chong, and tried out the trousers.
Other members of the design team are Junior Ngwenya, Igor Safronov and Sangwoo Park.
23 Jul 2013