I am betting that this new exoskeleton is okay for reasonable terrain but I wouldn’t want to try using it say, running along the Baden Powell Trail on wet slippery logs. And if you fall over, it would be interesting to know if you can actually get up again.

But check out this picture (from Ziff-Davis Internet):

This project being developed in Berkeley and is being funded by DARPA:

Across the country, a team at the University of California, Berkeley, Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory is working on the Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX), which fits over the wearer’s legs and assists in carrying heavy loads over long distances. It uses sensors, actuators, a network, and complex algorithms to compute the exoskeleton’s motion. It’s designed to imitate the torque, speed, and motion of a 165-pound person walking.

Homayoon Kazerooni, a Berkeley professor who invented the concept in the early 1990s, says that the prototype can support about 80 pounds in a special backpack. “You simply walk, and it walks with you,” he says. The device, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), has applications in defense, firefighting, and rescue and recovery operations