In addition to NASA, potential customers of the technologies used in this space suit research include companies involved in medical technologies, and the Department of Defense. Joint torque devices are useful in medical technologies as orthopedic devices: either restricting motion in order to prevent injury, or providing resistance to motion in order to improve muscle function or promote bone growth. Military applications are generally limited to the potential use of MR fluids. Further development of MR fluid use will help to establish MR fluid as a possible technology for use in impact or bullet-proof garments.
This EVA space suit simulator will provide an accessible, inexpensive method for experimentation and training activities that require the subject to wear a space suit. For example, development of surface operations activities on the moon or Mars will benefit from the support of human testing; e.g. what is the metabolic cost of performing specific tasks in partial gravity while wearing a space suit? Note that this activity would also require the space suit simulator to be conducive to partial gravity simulations. Additionally, development of the future moon/Mars EVA space suit will require human testing; our adjustable space suit simulator joint torques will allow for characterization of various suit configurations in order to optimize the future suit design.