Exoskeleton technology must take the path of minimizing size and energy consumption. With this in mind, a team of engineers from Harvard University and the University of Nebraska have developed a new exoskeleton that looks like a sports shorts with a set of belts and an electronic unit. The weight of such an ultra-light and ultra-compact device is only 5 kg, of which 90% is located near the center of mass of the user's body, so he practically does not feel gravity.
The work of this exoskeleton is based on the analysis of the user's movements by artificial intelligence in order to adapt the work of all mechanisms to it. It does not matter what age, body size or gender the user of the device is - the adjustment takes place individually in each case. The task of AI is to dynamically adjust the system so that it adapts to the work of the gluteal and femoral muscles, removing some of the load from them.
This exoskeleton showed itself best of all when walking and running, its use reduces energy consumption for these exercises by 9 and 4%, respectively. The previous model provided up to 17.4% energy savings, but only worked when walking and was more cumbersome. The next version of the device will be designed for people with disabilities of the musculoskeletal system, who can move, albeit with difficulty. An exoskeleton of this design cannot replace diseased legs, but it has a wide potential for use in rehabilitation.