If someone offered you a pair of bionic pants... would you wear them? Thanks to researchers at the Wyss Institute, you might be able to someday. The group has been working on creating a soft clothing-like "exosuit" that can help augment soldiers, the elderly or patients in rehabilitation with movement.
The soft part is key here -- because these exosuits don't contain any hard structures, they are far more flexible than most exoskeleton technology. The idea is that these smaller, more comfortable suits can exert small amounts of assistance to help assist in walking, running or lifting -- though the wearer is still using their own muscles for the brunt of the work.
So far, tests have shown that the suit can help increase endurance -- allowing users to use less energy while walking or running without the suit. Creators hope that the technology will help in rehabilitation of patients suffering from stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, as well as serve as assistance for soldiers and first responders.
So, we ask again -- would you wear bionic pants?