Lockheed Martin's HULC Robotic Exoskeleton MK II
Lockeed Martin is testing an updated, ruggedized version of the HULC robotic exoskeleton
Lockheed Martin is putting an updated, ruggedized version to its HULC Robotic Exoskeleton through lab evaluation tests. The hydraulic "power-suit" now boasts better protection from the elements, improved fitting and easier adjustment, increased run-time and new control software.
One of several exoskeletons in development for both military and civilian applications, the HULC (short for Human Universal Load Carrier) is designed to augment soldiers' strength and mobility over rough terrain. It's a modular system made up of an over-the-shoulder backpack unit which transfers weight of up to 200 lbs (combined front and back) through a titanium lower-body exoskeleton. On foot, soldiers wearing the device can run at 7 mph with 10 mph bursts and at slower speeds, a range of around 12 miles is possible.
Unlike the Raytheon XOS 2 full-body exoskeleton, the HULC uses power-assisted straps as "arms" to lift-weight in front of the body. It's big advantage is that it's untethered and in In the revised version, Lockheed Martin says increased operational run time has been achieved using military-standard rechargeable batteries.
The form and fit of the exoskeleton has also been improved to make it easier for wearers to make adjustments and swap components.
Along with treadmill and dynamic load testing, the ruggedized HULC is being exposed to a range of simulated environments and battlefield conditions.
The company also has an eye on the obvious potential of the technology in industrial applications and other areas such a healthcare.
About the Author
After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.
All articles by Noel McKeegan
I truly hope the military doesn\'t fall for this silly idea.
A well conceived wheel barrow or dolly would outperform this in any circumstances.
If you NEED to carry something 20 miles, get an ATV.
It is time military for military suppliers to wake up.
If you are in the mountains, follow the lead of men who WORK in the mountains, rather than the silly posers who just VISIT. ATVs, modern backpacks (no self respecting mountaineer would be caught dead using the equipment with which service men are saddled), Swiss Schoeler materials for the uniforms, etc.
Are these devices meant to help the disabled; or are they an attempt to make servicemen look like automated clowns?
just add some armor plating to this some heavy weapons to this and your combat ready, why waste this in just to carry crap around
well, an ATV is a vehicle, which will not fit in some alleys, or inside buildings, in a urban setting. plus this is only the beginning. evetually we\'ll have soldiers inside completely armored suits. soon one man will have the firepower of 4 regular people atleast. this is assuming we don\'t attach any self-guiding missiles to it.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning