In which Reckless Duck returns to work, aided by some leading edge technology.

Duck and Professor Duck

Hello Duck, I infer from the fact that Reckless Duck's wing brace is no longer attached to him that he's mended.

Actually no, he's still broken, but we've come up with a more advanced solution.

So he's still bonkers then?

He's still suffering from the delusion that he has a broken arm.

I recommend a brief course of percussive cranial therapy. That'll sort him out.

You mean hit him on the head with a blunt object don't you?

Well, that's not really the accepted medical terminology for the procedure, but basically, yes.

I think we'll give him a bit more time to pull himself together before we go down that route. He should be here shortly, I've got an initial return to work meeting with him scheduled.


Welcome back Reckless Duck, how's the wing?

It's more uncomfortable than actually painful. I don't seem to have any strength in it and I get odd twinges when I try to lift parts or tighten bolts. What's really weird is the strange compulsion to refer to it as my arm, I really have to concentrate to avoid doing that.

Yes, that's still a mystery. But the exoskeleton is helping isn't it?

Oh yes, that helps a lot with lifting and generally taking the strain off. My wing seems sort of disconnected though. The only real problem with the exoskeleton is the lack of fine control, I can't do any precise work with it.

That would explain why you've volunteered for deconstruction duties for the forseeable future.

Yes, that's right. We all muck in, but nobody really likes deconstruction, it's a bit, well, uninspiring. But I figured that I could at least contribute something by taking over the bulk of the deconstruction duties until I'm recovered. Anything is better than just sitting around doing nothing.

Nice. If you can manage a few poses for the camera, I'm sure the readers will be interested in the exoskeleton.

No problem, happy to oblige.


Here we see Reckless Duck's exoskeleton. Exoskeleton is perhaps not quite the correct term, as it only covers his wings and midriff, but the term is a convenient shorthand for a pair of powered wing braces attached to a central support.


Note the thick bundle of wires leading from the exoskeleton. More on this later.


Given the lack of fine control, a pair of sturdy overshoes or no bovver boots as the team calls them have also been created. While not part of the exoskeleton, these are to protect Reckless Duck's feet from, for example, having heavy girders dropped on them during deconstruction.


Reckless Duck's allen key has been attached to the left exoskeleton arm, because having no strength in his wing, he can't grip it properly. That's interesting, Reckless Duck is left-winged.


Similarly, his favourite spanner has been attached to the right exoskeleton arm. Technically, Reckless Duck doesn't need any support for his right wing, but early trials of the exoskeleton with just one arm in place resulted in problems balancing. Due to the weight of the left arm, Reckless Duck kept falling over sideways.


From the rear we can see that the central support is hinged so that it can open up and allow Reckless Duck egress at the end of the day. The hydraulic rams which move the arms are also visible from this angle. The purpose of the vertical protuberance is as yet unclear.


If we zoom out a little, we can see that the bundle of wires leads to a wheeled trolley. That's the power supply for the exoskeleton.


The power supply is rather bulky and unfortunately Reckless Duck has to drag it around with him all day.


As Reckless Duck mentioned, fine control is a problem. That's a bit of an understatement, frankly there's rather a lot of barely controlled lurching about going on and it endangers the rest of the team. As a result, a number of warning lights have been fitted to alert the rest of the team when Reckless Duck approaches. When wearing the exoskeleton, Reckless Duck's style of movement is somewhere between a robot from a 1950's science fiction film and a zombie.


Here you can just see the pin at the front of the central support which can be removed to allow the exoskeleton to be removed.


There is one extra warning light over Reckless Duck's head. Why? Because the lighting system we've used for this contraption has nine LED's which are not removable, so the team had to incorporate it somehow. Think of it as decoration.


Battery Box

The LEDs were borrowed from the recent Meccano Eiffel Tower set. Quite why 4 AA batteries in such a bulky case are required to run 9 LEDs is beyond me. Also it would have been much more useful if each LED was on a removable cable rather than being hard wired in.