I have to admit that I am fascinated watching modern technology taking the first faltering steps into the realms of what was the province of Science Fiction. In particular, trying to visualise the development path to what it can ultimately become witin our Sci Fi games.
I'm a business analyst and IT Project Manager by profession, so am well aware of the pitfalls of technology that promises X and delivers Y, If you are lucky it delivers anything at all. Especially where the key decisions for the product are made for political or capital reasons and based on over-optimistic expectations. But luckily many of our Sci Fi universes have overcome these mundane issues to colonise the galaxy.
The key to the technological soldier on the battlefield is power. Batteries are becoming smaller and more powerful all the time. The research and developments in battery technology is interesting if boring. Let's for a moment assume we overcome the power/battery issue. If our guys can fly several thousand light years to invade another planet, they sure as hell are going to have the power issue licked.
Research into exoskeletons is in it's infancy. We probably already take for granted some of this research when we play with Terminator style human robots or even Power Armoured troopers. But what are the intermediatory steps? Should we and how do we define that technology on the tabletop? If at all we do. Of course, different rules and game universes will have different solutions. It's a fascinating challenge nevertheless, which may open up tactical options and abilities not covered by some future game systems.
There's a good introductory article here: EXOSKELTONS
In the not too distant future, the military will be augmented with exoskeletons to enable them to carry and move loads in a similar fashion the Power Loader Ripley drives ('jockies'?) in Aliens (1986). Special Forces troops may have a quick release exoskeleton that will carry great weights of combat/survival gear and reduce their fatigue on long patrols or overland insertions.
We can already see this technology being refined and slimmed down. It's not too difficult to envisage the exoskeleton being incorporated into soldiers armour - Power Armour (PA) troopers suddenly become a real prospect - but not necessarily the man in a big tin suit! Finally the nano-fibre combat suit itself will be created around a form fitting exoskeleton.
Which means that by degree our soldier of the future will have improved speed, strength, and agility. As the web article above says "Man morphed into machine". Looking far down the line, at what point do the robotics end and the man begin? When do we say that the soldier is more android or robot than man (or squid or whatever) and should fall under the relevant rules in our games. Or should we just take it for granted?