A Soft Touch To Exoskeletons Reduces Burden For Wearer

Feb 03, 2017 at 4:00 PM ET

Harvard Biodesign Lab is developing lightweight and unobtrusive exoskeletons.

Exoskeletons help the wearer reduce their energy expenditure by assisting natural muscle movement, but they’re usually hard, heavy, and burdensome. Harvard’s lightweight exoskeleton addresses this problem — recent testing shows it reduced the metabolic rate of walking by over 20 percent. The lightweight exoskeleton could help people with weak leg muscles, or could be used by soldiers and firefighters who carry heavy gear.