The field of robotic exoskeletons is growing quickly. If you are interested in the field, these articles will help get you started. You will find a selection of articles covering different aspects of exoskeleton technology. These are not scientific articles, but rather meant as an accessible introduction of exoskeleton technology.
Because we have been asked whether guest contributions are possible, the answer is clearly yes. If you are interested, please contact us with your suggestion. We will expand this knowledge base in the future to cover more aspects of exoskeleton technology.
The development of robotic exoskeletons already began in the second half of the 20th century. Around 1965, General Electric (in the US) started to develop the Hardiman, a large full-body exoskeleton designed to augment the user’s strength to enable the lifting of heavy objects. The first exoskeletons for gait assistance were developed at the end of the 1960s at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute Serbia, and in the early 1970s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US (exoskeleton is second robot in the video below. It is shown after around 2 minutes).
To give you an overview of today's robotic exoskeletons, we compiled a catalogue with a selection of state of the art systems sorted by their main purpose and application. The selected systems should not be understood as an endorsement of a particular institution or manufacturer. They were simply chosen to show an interesting variety of existing exoskeletons. Please note that we are not responsible for the content of external websites.
If you are new to robotic exoskeletons, your ideas about them might be highly influenced by science fiction movies such as Iron Man, Aliens or Elysium. While the portrait of the technology in those movies may be a little over-the-top, resulting in unrealistic expectations, the main idea is not wrong. The exoskeleton enables the hero to solve a difficult task that he or she would otherwise not be able to solve (for example, defeating the alien queen), and this main motivation translates to today’s real world robotic exoskeletons.