Wearable suits or exoskeletons in which wearers are strapped into external powered or powerless metal alloy frames are helping the disabled escape their wheelchairs and become upright and it's no surprise that the military are interested in giving soldiers even greater powers and abilities to carry heavier objects over long distances.
But in industrial environments where holding heavy power tools for long periods of time is damaging to a worker's long term health or it's a time consuming issue to bring in cranes and hoist systems exoskeletons maybe making their way to a construction site near you.
Ekso Bionics, who originally designed military and medical suits, designed a non-powered suit which can help a construction worker lift and maneuver heavy objects, this video demonstrated a 40lb grinder being lifted above the head of the journalist and because it doesn't require battery packs, it can be used for hours on end in difficult locations.
If however, battery packs will provide the ability to lift heavier objects, as is hoped by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DEME), in South Korea, then this prototype, demonstrated in this image is the way forward. Initially, this powered suit has a three hour battery life and enables workers to carry objects up to 70lbs but if the image in the above website is to be believed, then their ultimate goal is to be able to lift a huge 10 tons!
If such heavy weights really could happen, then once again, the future of construction work will be turned on its head. This brave new world will involve one where robots don't replace humans but enhance them and improve on those unique skills that evolution has spent millennial improving.