They are developing soft robotic exosuits that are designed to provide power and torque to critical body joints. At least 15 Warrior Web prototypes have been tested in laboratories and outdoor settings.
The amount of reduction depends on the individual wearing the suit, but researchers have seen greater than 10 percent in some cases, he said.
Conor Walsh, a leading robotics expert at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, said the goal is to achieve a reduction of 25 percent or more. "The exciting thing is that you're able to now kind of say … it's possible to make it easier for a healthy person to walk when carrying a load," he said. "Now we're kind of at this next juncture … to say, 'How do we make the benefit as big as possible?'"