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Knitting and weaving artificial muscles could help create soft exoskeletons that people with disabilities could wear under their clothes to help them walk, according to new research. Textile processing is one of humanity’s oldest technologies, but in recent years there has been renewed interest in using it to create “smart” textiles that can do everything from harvest power from the environment to monitor our health. Exoskeletons can be used to boost humans’ weight-lifting abilities or help the disabled walk.

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