We may be closer to the exoskeleton Matt Damon uses in Elysium than we thought. Four college students in Pennsylvania have created the Titan Arm, which when attached, allows the wearer to lift forty pounds more than without Titan Arm.
The University of Pennsylvania students, who are studying engineering, created the Titan Arm for one of their senior projects. The exoskeleton for the arm comes with a backpack, and after being attached increases the strength of that arm.
They designed the Titan Arm with the goal of helping those who are in rehabilitation programs and also for work that requires a lot of heavy lifting. It was also made for under $2,000 USD, though I can imagine a full exoskeleton suit like the one Matt Damon wears in Elysium would cost a lot more.
Aside from the applications that the students had in mind, there are also a myriad of others that come to mind. The Titan Arm and various exoskeleton style strength enhancers could significantly help with the construction fields, hospitals and of course there are military applications as well.
[Thanks WildCat, via TechBeat]