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Decentralising Digital: Exoskeletons

Farmers wearing locally produced exoskeletons made by the community and built from traditional techniques.
Speculative illustration and story by Yuvraj Jha as part of the Decentralising Digital research project.

It is widely understood that one of the hardest parts of farming is, to put it mildly, farming. Labour intensive, unpredictable, and in the long run, backbreaking.

And this is one of the primary reasons why the younger generation is moving to the cities for a better future. This has led to fewer people working in the fields, which means less food or more technology on our farms. Neither of which is a good idea. Even though tech and automation are good overall, in the long run the health of the farm depends on the health of the farmer. And the potential disconnect with the land proves to be extremely debilitating over decades. However, the back-breaking load of farm work over prolonged periods of time causes health issues such as hernia—issues that at the moment do not have sufficient solutions and continue into old age. This speculative illustration accompanies a short story on the lives of people in a village who have deployed exoskeletons on their village farms instead of drones.

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