Following lab evaluation tests
, Lockheed Martin’s ruggedized HULC
(Human Universal Load Carrier) robotic exoskeleton is now undergoing biomechanical testing at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts. The biomechanical testing will assess the effectiveness of the HULC in improving the endurance and reducing the risk of injury to soldiers by comparing the performance of soldiers carrying identical loads, both with and without the device.
At a press conference held this morning in San Francisco, California’s Berkeley Bionics unveiled its eLEGS exoskeleton. The computer-controlled device is designed to be worn by paraplegics, providing the power and support to get them out of their wheelchairs, into a standing posture, and walking – albeit with the aid of crutches. The two formerly wheelchair-bound “test pilots” in attendance did indeed use eLEGS to walk across the stage, in a slow-but-steady gait similar to that of full-time crutch-users.
HULC, the Lockheed Martin (LM) powered robotic exoskeleton is being extended in its range to support 72+ hour extended missions. LM is working with Protonex Technology Corporation to evaluate and develop fuel cell-based power solutions that can be carried by the HULC, while at the same time powering the exoskeleton and the soldier’s mission equipment during extended dismounted operations.
The use of an exoskeleton
to improve the performance of humans in various situations including the military is a hot topic in the media and leads the imagination to all sorts of possibilities. It has the potential to deliver extraordinary strength and endurance to the wearer possibly changing the face of modern warfare. As part of the further development of exoskeleton technology for military scenarios, Lockheed Martin recently introduced the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC™) exoskeleton at the Association of the United States’ Army Winter Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.