In all honesty, exoskeletons that have been designed for mainstream use have totally different purposes than the ones that have been popularized. We are far far away from having flashy super suits that make us fly, but exoskeletons are highly capable of helping the common man whether it’s a device that gives a blue-collar worker extra strength to perform tasks that they would not have been able to without the augmentation, or a simple augmentation which aids workers in being able to sit where they are. The possibilities are endless with exoskeletons from being able to help the military to helping the disabled function better. We could see this type of technology go flying off of the shelves if this technology were for sale.
Let’s take the MATE for example, which is an entirely mechanical exoskeleton that amplifies the users ability to lift, while also maintaining a healthy posture. This makes MATE both a corrective device, as well as enabling one too. It works on a brilliantly designed spring-based passive structure, so no need for batteries or motors to help it be powered. This type of construction brings the cost of production down, but it makes maintaining the exoskeleton a lot more affordable too, especially not needing any electricity for the process. There are two different sizes for MATE, one for a man and the other for a woman, and has five adjustable parts so it can accommodate humans of different sizes. By wearing MATE you are able to lower your work load, fatigue, or chances of hurting yourself, which in the long run helps increase efficiency, productivity, as well as job satisfaction.
The definition of a powered exoskeleton are basically powered robotic types of technology that helps the development of strength of the user, which wouldn’t be possible today without the exoskeleton. Now what is the definition for kids so that they can understand what it is and how it can applied to the future? I would give simple examples such as powered clothing or a wearable piece of technology that helps you be stronger than you normally are to help you do things you need to do, to be more productive. It will be interesting to see where the future generations take this technology and run with it.