It looks like this technology may be here sooner than we expected.
"We set out to create an exoskeleton that combines a human control system with robotic muscle," said Homayoon Kazerooni, professor of mechanical
engineering and director of UC Berkeley’s Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory. "We’ve designed this system to be ergonomic, highly maneuverable
and technically robust so the wearer can walk, squat, bend and swing from side to side without noticeable reductions in agility. The human pilot can
also step over and under obstructions while carrying equipment and supplies."
"The researchers point out that the human pilot does not need a joystick, button or special keyboard to "drive" the device. Rather, the machine is
designed so that the pilot becomes an integral part of the exoskeleton, thus requiring no special training to use it. In the UC Berkeley experiments,
the human pilot moved about a room wearing the 100-pound exoskeleton and a 70-pound backpack while feeling as if he were lugging a mere 5 pounds.
There is a cool picture on the site