This AI-controlled exoskeleton is designed to help you hike faster and further

Hypershell exoskeletons
(Image credit: Hypershell)

Hands up everybody who’s ever seen Ripley suit up in that P-5000 Powered Work Loader exoskeleton in Aliens and thought, “You know what? That’s just what I could do with for hiking.”

No? Though the thought might have crossed your mind 15km into a hike, struggling under the weight of an overstuffed backpack that’s so dense it’s formed its own gravitational field and those trekking poles just aren’t helping more.

Never fear, because high-tech, AI-controlled exoskeletons aimed at helping hikers trek faster while carrying heavy weights are about to become a reality, and they’re a lot less bulky than Ripley’s Work Loader. 

Hypershell exoskeletons

Hypershell exoskeletons have fast swap batteries with a range of 16m (25 km)  (Image credit: Hypershell)

Hypershell, a new company based in Shanghai, has announced the launch of three lightweight exoskeletons – the GoX, ProX, and CarbonX – which have been designed to help outdoor enthusiasts and mountain hikers trek faster while carrying heavier packs without tiring so fast.

You wear them around your hip and legs. A 400 watt motor on the GoX and 800 watt motor on the ProX and CarbonX boost the user's ability to move rapidly and carry heavy loads. All three incorporate AI software to dynamically adjust the level of boost they provide according to changing terrain.

Hypershell are certainly hyping up their claims about the performance of these exoskeletons. Apparently, the 800 watt motor provides up to 22lb (10 kg) of assist when walking and up to 66lb (30 kg) of assist when climbing stairs or mountains. And while the average running speed of a normal person is typically about 5mph (8km/h), Hypershell claims the 800 watt exoskeletons can boost that to 12.4mph (20 km/h), even up slopes.

Fast swap batteries power the Hypershells up to a range of 16m (25 km). The GoX and ProX models with aluminum magnesium frames weigh 4.4lb (2kg) while the CarbonX model utilizing carbon fiber weighs 4.0 pounds (1.8 kg).

Hypershell anticipates launching these products in summer 2024, at which points you probably would be able to move in the mountains for outdoors kit reviewers all bounding along trails, eager to test out the company’s claims, and randomly shouting, “Get away from her, you b***h!” to bemuses passers-by.