It is probably impossible to know everything that can go wrong before you start. Nevertheless, there are inherent challenges to technology in just about any innovation, along with the fact that there are limits to the current state of the technology when trying to devise additional applications. Let me give you a case in point. Not long ago, I was talking to a gentleman who wishes to create exoskeletons to help train the motor skills, muscles, and brain of cerebral palsy victims.
Now then, if you know anything about this, you've probably seen the equipment in the clinics which are used for therapy. Generally it consists of some sort of apparatus to hold the individual, a very slow-moving treadmill, all hooked up to a bunch of computer equipment and analytical displays. However in this case it would be different, the exoskeleton would maintain its balance and you could walk down the sidewalk with it, for miles if you wanted, all while helping the person learn to walk, and allowing their brain to work around the damaged area to control their muscles. Well, that's the idea anyway.
Of course, there are limitations to the battery power. You probably know this if you've been out and about using your iPad, or iPhone, and after a while the battery goes dead, and that's all she wrote. Battery power is challenged and limited in capacity. Adding more battery power to these exoskeletons also increases the weight, cost, and viability of the whole concept.
On June 19, 2012 there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled; 'Fighting Form: Military Takes On Battery Fatigue' by Keith Johnson. The article discussed solar recharging, fast recharging stations, and Kinetic Solutions such as using the motion of the soldier to charge the batteries as they walk, not too unlike a shakable flash-light scheme.
Okay so, you can see this is a real problem, not a made up future challenge for this innovative concept. So what's the answer? Well, one answer might be to incorporate liquid batteries into the skin of the suit itself, allowing fluid to help balance and stabilize the entire system. In essence most of the exoskeleton would actually become a battery with hollowed out panels and parts. With the proper baffling system, such an exoskeleton would be even more stable than one without this type of battery strategy.
Some might say that's getting pretty tricky, but actually this technology already exists, and perhaps there are some military applications down the road as well. Nevertheless, this just goes to show you that there is always a solution to any a problem. And every innovator needs to realize this, while they proceed with caution, but refuse to ever give up. Please consider all this and think on it.