We wrote not long ago about strap-on leg supports designed for factory workers. The idea of exosuits is apparently very much in the air; researchers at Harvard, backed with DARPA money, are working on clothing that can provide a lesser and more flexible form of joint support when needed.
A team led by Conor Walsh at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has won a $2.9 million contract to develop soft, flexible, undergarments that can help soldiers walk further and carry larger loads. From a press release:
In a current prototype, a series of webbing straps positioned around the lower half of the body contain a low-power microprocessor and network of supple strain sensors that act as the “brain” and “nervous system” of the Soft Exosuit, respectively — continuously monitoring various data signals, including the suit tension, the position of the wearer (e.g., walking, running, crouched), and more.