by Nick Stockton, WIRED
Robots are coming to take your jog. Or, at least, your walk. Each spring in your step costs your body calories. Robotic assistants could help ease fatigue for people who earn their living on their feet—or who have been hobbled by disease.
But many robotic exoskeletons are so bulky that they actually cause wearers more fatigue. The problem is twofold: Not only do the rigid suits weigh more, they also have a hard time aligning properly with human joints, forcing wearers to twist their gait unnaturally. A soft robotic wearable tested recently by scientists could answer both problems—reducing wearers’ metabolic costs by up to 23 percent.