A powered exoskeleton (also known as power armor, powered armor, powered suit, cybernetic suit, cybernetic armor, exosuit, hardsuit, exoframe or augmented mobility) is a wearable mobile machine that is powered by a system of electric motors, pneumatics, levers, hydraulics, or a combination of technologies that allow for limb movement with increased strength and endurance. Its design aims to provide back support, sense the user’s motion, and send a signal to motors which manage the gears. The exoskeleton supports the shoulder, waist and thigh, and assists movement for lifting and holding heavy items, while lowering back stress.
A powered exoskeleton differs from a passive exoskeleton due to the fact that a passive exoskeleton is not powered. However, similar to a powered exoskeleton, it does give mechanical benefits to the user. This also explains the difference to orthotics. An orthosis should promote the activity of muscle work and, in the best case, regain it.