Researchers and companies are developing a wide range of robotic exoskeletons for medical, military and industrial uses. Robotic trousers produced by the Swiss firm Hocoma are designed to help stroke victims improve walking, and three companies -- Argo Medical Technologies, Cyberdyne and Ekso Bionics -- offer devices that enable paralyzed patients to walk upright. Power systems are crucial to the future of exoskeletons, according to Chris Melhuish, director of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. "The evolution of the exoskeleton will go hand in hand with the evolution of batteries or other high density storage systems as well as lightweight structural materials," he said.

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