Due to the nature of the Norb Network, its planets have a vast and diverse quantity of wildlife. Many of the larger species are implanted with passive circuitry that allows the idle cycles of their organic brains to be used for computational purposes, but lack any method of direct control. As a result, the overwhelming majority of wildlife on the Hosts of the Norb Network are left to roam freely, within limits. This was normally not a large issue for the majority of Platforms designed for observation, implantation, landscaping, euthanization, and medicine, as their solid-metal design made them mostly unappetizing to predators and mostly unharmed in the case of an incident.
After the Empire of Verandi reintroduced the Norb to sapient lifeforms, the Network was willing to allow scientists and researchers access to their wildlife to further the research of both nations. However, the protected transportation provided by the Norb Fiesta would alert animals to the presence of researchers too quickly. Because of this, the Norb created a suit of personal armor that would protect human scientists from harm, and allow them to interact with animals on a more personal level. Over the centuries, Hugsuits were adapted to a wide variety of the species of the Known Galaxy to allow further scientific input.
The Hugsuit is constructed using a variety of simple technologies to prevent theft of intellectual property. Titanium nanotube armor provides full-body protection that is effectively impervious to anticipated threats, an integrated holo-projector shields the user from sight or allows them to mimic a member of a pack, an internal air supply and filter prevents the transmission of disease to and from wildlife, a dome-shaped transparium helmet gives the user a full field of natural vision, and a scent duplicator allows for experiencing smells without exposing the user to external contaminants.
Fully powered, a user in a Hugsuit feels no resistance from the armor as they move around in an environment. An embedded suite of sensors and communications lets a Norb AI talk to the user in real time when necessary, or act as an autopilot. It stores energy in a hyper-capacitor that provides a tremendous quantity of charge to allow for extended operation. Because of this, the Hugsuit can be recharged in a matter of seconds, either by being in a charging area, or by direct laser transmission.
The most-noted feature of the Hugsuit is a set of technologies that have been jokingly referred to as the "hug replicator". Using an internal texture membrane pressed against the users skin, the Hugsuit is capable of replicating any external texture internally. This allows a user to pet an animal, shake hands, or squeeze a ripe fruit and actually feel as if they are doing it, rather than the suit.
There are few Hugsuits in existence, as they are only used by visitors on Norb worlds, and are not exported. As a result, no more than a few thousand exist for each species-variant of Hugsuit.