There are massive, robotic-looking exoskeletons that can help with mobility, physical therapy and more, but if you're looking for something a little more low key, there's a new exoskeleton that looks like a pair of trousers.
Wearable robots: Harvard Biodesign Lab is developing a soft exosuit that it dubs the "next generation of soft wearable robots." Unlike the aforementioned Iron Man suit which Hyundai is designing to enable its workers to lift about over 200 pounds, or smaller-scale robotic exoskeletons that let people who are paralyzed walk again, this lightweight exoskeleton is designed to augment the gait of healthy individuals.
In a YouTube video, Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute, Conor Walsh, also lists the military, elderly, athletes and first responders as people who could benefit from this exosuit.
The pants of the future: These trousers are made with "innovative textiles" — materials that better conform to the human body than stiff hardware. Ditching rigid metallic structures frees your joints to move more freely while also weighing a hell of a lot less.
No, you won't be able to lift like a bodybuilder with ease, but you will be able to carry thirty percent of your body weight at 3 mph, which is just a smidgen quicker than the average human walking speed of 2.5 mph, Popular Mechanics reported.
Simply put, slip into these trousers and you'll be able to carry a heavy load, no problem, while walking at a faster pace. And you won't look like this: