I’ve always fancied having superhuman powers. I suspect this is part of the motivation behind much of the research into robotic exoskeletons.
Instead of helping the disabled or allowing stevedores to lift loaded pallets single-handed, today’s invention is a repurposing of this type of unit.
Athletes of every kind, from joggers to Olympians, could benefit from wearing such a system during training. Rather than using it to enhance performance, it would actually inhibit easy movement, in a highly controlled way, and thus provide a convenient source of resistance training.
Each joint could be programmed to allow a particular force/acceleration relation -which could be tailored to optimise performance during some subsequent competitive event.
Such a system could be worn and used throughout the day, so that the training might become ‘ambient’ -thus overcoming much of the mental resistance which can limit training effort. A computer could provide several high-inertia periods during which training would be explicit, but alternate with bouts of lower intensity drag.
The suit could also rapidly sense any sudden change in its wearer’s movements, which might indicate the onset of injury in time to protect against further damage.