It’s the middle of the week. Are you starting to feel a little tired? Worn down? Muscles sore? Back aching?


Millions of us have back pain, and it just plain makes things harder to do.

Maybe this will help: a team at Vanderbilt University has developed an exosuit that may ease the strain on your back.

The team wanted to make it clear, this is not a real-life Iron Man suit. There’s no motor here, no power source.

It’s an elastic suit that can help the back muscles help themselves, keeping strain off the muscles and off the spine, and helping people move more effectively and use better posture.

They found that with the exosuit on, picking up a 35 pound weight – say, what a typical four year old might weigh – is, to a person’s back, more like picking up 24 pounds, or, what a typical 18 month old toddler weighs.

Reducing the amount of work the back has to do could come in handy for people in a lot of fields, from grocery and warehouse workers to construction crews to emergency responders.

And you never know, maybe having exosuits out there in the world will eventually help someone who wears one turn into an Iron Woman or a Batman down the road.

But there are problems even a high-tech wearable can’t solve.

Like, how do you tell your neighbor he’s just become one of the most famous economists in the world?

The Nobel committee was having a hard time getting in touch with one of the winners of this year’s economics prize, Paul Milgrom.

As doorbell camera footage showed, his co-winner and neighbor, Robert Wilson, knocked on his door at 2:30 in the morning to say, and I quote, “You’ve won the Nobel Prize. They’re trying to reach you.”

How’s that for a wake-up call?

Vanderbilt wearable exosuit that lessens back muscle fatigue could redesign the future of work (Vanderbilt University)

The #NobelPrize committee couldn’t reach Paul Milgrom to share the news that he won (Stanford University on Twitter)

We can do anything with help from our backers on Patreon, join us