To clarify the title since it cannot be said within the word limit:
A "simulation" exoskeleton, is an exoskeleton that doesn't exist to support a disabled user's movement or to help someone carry more. It is an exoskeleton that one wears in order to be better immersed into a virtual environment, either for recreation or training.
To explain further, the increased immersion is achieved using the exoskeleton for mechanical feedback, and for full body input, by matching the "rag doll" avatar's position/form to the exoskeleton you can both apply more diverse control to and experience the virtual environment in a far more immersed way. Allowing running, wrestling, climbing, carrying, etc.
That's the theory at least, and products like Dexmo achieve it on a small scale.
And there was a product in progress called Axon VR which would have been a full body experience, I can't find what happened but it seems they've decreased scope and are also doing gloves. The shtick of these gloves compared to Dexmo is that there is better tactile feedback, such as heat/texture/etc. Axon VR even has an ex-CEO of twitter invest in it so obviously the concept isn't too out there.
Exoskeletons like these that can be mounted and so don't have to lift your or their own weight, nor have to worry about batteries since then can run off the mains, should be significantly easier to make economically viably right?
So I want to know
A) Whether something is feasibly possible with a 100,000 dollar hardware budget per item at all
B) If not what is limiting it?
C) If it is, then how much would it cost (ball park numbers), and a rough cost breakdown in terms of hardware per complete item.
I understand that software for it is hard as hell, and ensuring safety within legal limits is difficult, or perhaps there isn't a big enough market that even if they were $25,000 to buy each that they wouldn't sell. By answering the above questions I hope to narrow down on the "bigger picture" of it.
From what I read online I could find upper limit of power outputs of humans reached around 2000kw (~2.5hp) or for a short period for a professional athlete, in this case cyclists. A 5hp pump can be bought for under \$1k off the first site I found, even if you had to go as high as 10hp to not only stop but also "reverse" any actions of a "sprinting" human, which probably wouldn't be safe anyway and wouldn't be a feature, as well as being extremely rare, that's sub \$2k.
After that you have material for a frame, ~40 cylinders/hydraulic motors (total), hoses, sensors, and (most expensive as far as I know) ~40 servo valves, and I'm sure some other things. (~40 estimated as 3 for each shoulder and hip joint (+12), 2 for each upper and lower arm and leg (+8), a few for each wrist/ankle, and 5 for each hand (+10)). Now I admit servo values can be PRICEY, but in bulk and many of the 40 not under much stress like the ones for fingers I figure the price should stay WAY under \$250 a valve + cylinder, which even then becomes \$10000 which for what you're getting isn't too high in my opinion. And that's an all out all motion one, I imagine most people could have lots of fun with just hands, feet, and waist "simulation".
I mean there are already exoskeletons on the market that can walk people who can't walk! On battery, against the force of gravity, within a reasonable price range. I'm honestly mostly wondering if I'm crazy more than anything, wondering why we don't have simulation exoskeletons already, maybe I am just vastly over estimating their market value.