From Anno Astra
The powered suit had its beginnings in the early decades of the twenty-first century, with the development of a powered leg harness. While it permitted infantry to bear heavy loads in rough terrain, it had limited combat effectiveness, being prone to mechanical breakdown, possessing a crude control system and always in need of constant maintenance. In the decades that followed, advances in various technological fields made possible the construction of power-assisted exoskeletons. These were not considered suitable for use in combat, as the control systems available had slow response times and inefficient feedback systems. Movement had to be deliberate and preplanned; natural, spontaneous action was virtually impossible to achieve. This, coupled with the low-density energy storage methods then in use, made infantry powered armour impractical at the time.
Then came the need for a single vehicle suitable for a multitude of roles, to be carried in 'slowboats,' huge colony ships traveling at sublight velocities. From this was born the mobile suit; research and development efforts were now focused on its improvement and refinement. The concept of powered armour was to languish, at least for a time.
Early Generation Powered Suit
Early generation powered suits practical for infantry use were made possible by the technological advances brought forth by the mobile suit. A merging of superstrong materials, synthetic musculature and high-density energy storage systems gave these suits the necessary strength and reaction speed. The use of tactile feedback systems and pressure-activated sensor layers solved the problems of control and balance, by using the human body's own senses in lieu of the automated control system used in early mobile suits. The suit's inner layer sensed the pressure applied by the wearer's muscles and reacted accordingly, at the same time transmitting to the wearer any sensations felt by the suit's outer layer. Despite these advances, operating these suits was still demanding work, as there was always an infinitesimal lag between the wearer's movement and the suit's reaction. During this pause, the wearer would be struggling against inertia and the suit's weight. The lag was even worse with a poorly fitted suit. The attendant skin chafing and sore muscles were only a few of the problems one faced while wearing a powered suit.