We've seen some fairly convincing power loader facsimiles before, but this refurbished Ditch Witch by Raytheon-Sarcos — who are also experimenting with robotic exoskeletons — isn't that far off from James Cameron's original vision.

According to Raytheon-Sarcos Vice President of Operations Fraser Smith, the robotic arms use "force reflection" to provide the operator with feedback and the physical sensation of resistance:

Anything that slave encounters in terms of force is also fed back to the operator so he can actually feel what's happening in the workspace [...] With added strength, the operator doesn't need two or three guys trying to muscle something around. This thing just picks it up and dexterously positions the material.

But does it come with a comically oversized Bowie knife? Honestly, after Avatar that really should be standard-issue for all advances in telepresence robotics.

[Via KSL]