When we think of an exoskeleton we usually think of rigid frameworks with hydraulic joints. Well a team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have attempted to make a soft exoskeleton through the use of fabric. The purpose of the soft exosuit is to reduce muscle fatigue in military personal, for example, when carrying a load for an extended period. It is also envisaged that it could help those, such as the aged, that find walking difficult and need help. The team have just received a $2.9 million follow-on contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)to further improve their technology.
Interestingly, in the following video, demonstrating the technology, the item is referred to as a soft wearable robot, which implies a relationship between the wearer and the robot, as opposed to augmentation which is more like an extension of the wearers body.
Source: Wyss Institute