The Wyss Institute design takes a different approach. Instead of using rigid systems to simply boost strength, the smart suit relies on soft, stretchable sensors that detect fatigue. To help a person maintain their posture, the suit might give a small vibrations to soothe leg muscles, not unlike a massager. That would keep soldiers walking and moving longer.
BLOG: Exoskeleton Helps Paralyzed Patients Walk
Being stretchable and soft would make a big difference to the wearer, of course, as it would be a lot more comfortable (and not chafe). As important, it could be worn under a uniform.
The project is still in the early stages, so the details of which technologies will be brought to bear haven't been worked out yet. The DARPA funding will go to a team headed by Conor Walsh, assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
via: Wyss Institute
Image: Wyss Institute