The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AGNES (Age Gain Now Comaty System) is a suit that allows wearers to experience what it’s like to be 80 years old with certain chronic diseases, according to MIT News.
In the latest series of Disney +, “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth,” the Australian actor met the technology of MIT AgeLab. He wore a specially made AGNES with bungee cords, 30 pounds of extra weight, and Crocs to make him unstable, causing what Hemsworth called a “fashion disaster.”
Hemsworth was then put into a nursing home to find out what life would be like for him in his 80s. He was also given an ID badge with a digital version of himself.
Throughout the final part of the series, which is called “The Confession,” Hemsworth tries to overcome the obstacles that the suit brings him. Finally, they feel that they have limitations, and aging is inevitable.
At Sunset Pines, the nursing home Hemsworth entered, everyone just told him to “live each day to the fullest,” which is what the experiment was designed to teach him.
AGNES debuted in 2006 and was featured on the YouTube video “The Try Guys”, and the PBS documentary “Fast Forward” before that.
Although the device has been used for entertainment purposes, AGNES is also important for understanding how people age and developing devices that can be used by the elderly. MIT’s inventions have been used to “inform the design of public transportation, shopping centers, medical devices, and packaging,” according to MIT News.
AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin told MIT that the purpose of AGNES changed over time.
“It started with neck braces and elastic bands that we used to better understand the ingress and egress issues of motor vehicles for older users,” Coughlin said. “Today, we use AGNES to give researchers and students a taste of the conflict, frustration, and exhaustion that older adults often face.”
Coughlin added that AGNES may not show users their “future,” but it can provide insight into who they will be.
“It’s an opportunity to think about our future today so we can live a better life tomorrow,” Coughlin said.
The movie premiered on Disney+ in November.
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