With the rise in robotics in the construction field from drones to 3D printing, one of the newest additions to the tool box might be Exoskeleton suits. The robotic aid to humans, seen in films like Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Iron Man are no longer science fiction.
Most suits were developed initially for military use, further developed to assist in rehabilitation are becoming something for every day consideration. The early designs are built around counter weights allowing the suits to go without power to assist in holding heavy tools, or other items. The system is still in its infancy, and may be a long way from being a key cog in the tool kit.
The advantage to using the suits is that it allows workers to either avoid injury or repetitive strain as the weight of the tool or item is taken up by the suit. Since the suit has no batteries or plugs it allow use across a wide variety or work sites.
However, given time and an ability to power the suit it may become another time and labour saving device that will be as natural to construction as a crane or a cement truck.
Two suits in stages to become available in the next year include Fortis and Eksobionics the Lockheed Martin who built the Fortis suit currently already offer it while Eksobionics is set for sale in 2016.