A Powered Exoskeleton is a powered mobile armor defense system consisting primarily of a skeleton-like framework worn by a person and a power supply that supplies at least part of the activation-energy for limb movement.
Powered exoskeletons are designed to assist and protect the wearer. They may be designed, for example, to assist and protect soldiers and construction workers, or to aid the survival of people in other dangerous environments. A wide medical market exists in the future as prosthetics to provide mobility assistance for aged and infirm people. Other possibilities include rescue work, such as in collapsed buildings, in which the device might allow a rescue worker to lift heavy debris, while simultaneously protecting him from falling rubble.
While the most successful UNSC powered armor project, MJOLNIR is by no means the only such effort to physically augment soldiers in combat. After the failures of the Mark I, II and III MJOLNIR suits, the UNSC Marine Corps began development of its own powered armor, the Cyclops, originally developed for shock infantry, then repurposed as heavy lifting equipment, then repurposed again as field technicians and demolitions units. RKD, an Earth think-tank, created the HAYABUSA project concurrently with MJOLNIR and while the two were developed separately, they share many characteristics, and are interchangeable to a degree. Even the Covenant make use of powered armor, especially the Jiralhanae powered armor and the Sangheili Combat Harness, though their need for extra augmentation is lessened somewhat by the two species’ natural physical prowess. Even the Forerunners developed Combat Skins, using a class system based on numbers, on which the MJOLNIR Mark V would rate as a class two.
Known Powered Exoskeletons
- Combat skin - The extremely advanced armor systems utilized by Forerunner warriors.
- Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor - A UNSC powered armor system similar to the MJOLNIR armor.
- HRUNTING Mark II [D] Exoskeleton - A super-heavy combat exoskeleton developed by the UNSC in the middle of the war.
- HRUNTING Mark III [B] Exoskeleton - An engineering heavy-lifter repurposed as an anti-vehicle assault unit by the UNSC Marine Corps early in the war.
- HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark I Prototype Armor Defense System - An advanced development of the early MJOLNIR system.
- HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Armor Defense System - A powered exoskeleton/armored fighting vehicle used by ONI and the UNSC Marine Corps after the Human-Covenant war.
- MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor - The performance-enhancing body armor made famous for its use by the SPARTAN-IIs.
- Prefect Powered Assault Armor - A high-tech hybrid of human and Forerunner armor systems, developed in 2558 and used exclusively by select SPARTAN-IVs.
- Sangheili Combat Harness - The shielded armor used by Sangheili Armed Forces and some post-war cultists.
- War Sphinx/Seeker - Large combat skins used by Forerunners late in the Human-Forerunner war and throughout the Forerunner-Flood war, respectively.