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Singapore’s engineering prowess demonstrated in 4 state-of-the-art innovations

They include an exoskeleton suit for firefighters, an icebreaker, a tank and an oil drilling rig.


    It isn’t exactly the exoskeleton suit Robert Downey Jr wears in the film series, Iron Man, but it shares the same mission as the Marvel Comics hero – to help save lives. And the Auberon Pneumatic Exoskeleton is a groundbreaking suit that homegrown engineering firm Hope Technik designed specifically for Singapore’s fire fighters.

    It was conceived with the help of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Ministry of Home Affairs’ Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer. The Auberon eases the load that firefighters have to carry while climbing multiple flights of stairs to combat blazes in the city-state’s high-rise buildings. These include breathing apparatus, hoses, nozzles and power tools that weigh as much as 40kg. While the Auberon is not the first exoskeleton made for firefighters, it is the only one in the world that does not require batteries or microcomputer chips to function. This is a mission critical piece of equipment for firefighters, as they cannot risk a power failure or software malfunction in their suits because of the intense heat they have to work in.

    The Auberon is currently on trial with the SCDF, but it has attracted the attention of fire departments from overseas. Hope Technik has also received enquiries from various military and paramilitary agencies to adapt the exoskeleton for bomb disposal suits, which can weigh more than 35kg.

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