The honest reality is that the exoskeletons that are designed for mainstream use have a completely different purpose from those popularized by pop-culture. There’s a long way to go before we have flashy supersuits that make us fly, because the truth is that exoskeletons are capable of doing much more to help the common man, whether it’s a simple augmentation that helps workers sit wherever they are, or exoskeletons that give blue-collar workers enhanced strength to perform tasks they couldn’t prior to augmentation.
Take for instance Comau’s MATE (short for Muscular Aiding Tech Exoskeleton), a completely mechanical exoskeleton that augments its wearer’s lifting ability, while also helping maintain a correct posture. Working as an enabling as well as corrective device, the MATE works purely on a cleverly designed spring-based passive structure, eliminating the need for motors or batteries. Not only does this bring down the production cost of the exoskeleton, it’s also much more cost-effective from a maintenance standpoint too, and doesn’t need to use any electrical energy in the process. The MATE comes in two sizes (ideally for men and women) and with five different adjustable parts, depending on body-types. When strapped onto a worker, the MATE helps decrease workload, fatigue, and chances of injuries or physiological problems, and in turn, increase productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction.