Big powered exoskeleton suits are great and all, but Lockheed Martin has built a passive model. Dubbed the FORTIS, the system doesn't use any power at all yet still aids the users strength. In fact, it allows you to wield a 16KG tool with almost no effort. But how is that possible without any motors?
The FORTIS exoskeleton transfers the loads through to the ground so the user doesn't feel any extra weight. For example, a tool mounted on the moveable arm is fully supported by the system - making it easy for a person to move it around as if it were weightless. A counter balance helps makes sure the user doesn't experience any sideways load either.
While the system has the potential to help people in day to day life, for now Lockheed Martin is testing it with the US Navy. In particular, its being used for shipbuilding, where heavy tools need to be used for long periods.
Check out more information over at Lockheed Martin.