Business

May 17, 2017
 

New Lockheed Martin exoskeleton helps soldiers carry heavy gear

LM-exoskeleton
Their demanding missions often require soldiers to carry heavy equipment packs long distances over rough terrain, or up and down stairs and underground infrastructure in urban environments. Exhaustion and injury are frequently a consequence of these challenging operational scenarios.

A new exoskeleton from Lockheed Martin offers a solution.

Using licensed DermoskeletonTM bionic augmentation technology, the FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD)TM is a computer-controlled exoskeleton that counteracts overstress on the lower back and legs and increases mobility and load-carrying capability. It boosts leg capacity for physically demanding tasks that require repetitive or continuous kneeling or squatting, or lifting, dragging, carrying or climbing with heavy loads.

“FORTIS K-SRD features military-specification batteries that are approved for infantry use, improved control box ergonomics and faster actuators that generate more torque,” said Keith Maxwell, FORTIS program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “These system upgrades resulted from soldier feedback on the initial design.”

Sensors on the exoskeleton report the soldier’s speed, direction and angle of movement to an on-board computer that drives electro-mechanical actuators at the knees. The exoskeleton delivers the right torque at the right time to assist knee flex and extension. FORTIS K-SRD ultimately reduces the energy needed to cross terrain, squat or kneel. These benefits are most noticeable when ascending or descending stairs or navigating inclined surfaces.

Versions of the exoskeleton are also available for industrial workers and first responders who have to perform strenuous tasks in difficult environments.

“For any mission that combines heavy man-portable gear and climbing, FORTIS K-SRD can enhance strength and endurance,” Maxwell said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – May 22, 2017

News North Korea Fires Medium-Range Ballistic Missile – North Korea fired a missile May 21, a week after its successful test of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile, South Korean officials said.     Business Exec who was touted to become Leonardo’s new CEO leaves firm – A senior manager and longtime employee has left Italy’s...
 
 

News Briefs – May 22, 2017

N. Korea fires ballistic missile in latest test, Seoul says North Korea on May 21 fired a ballistic missile from an area near its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said, in the latest weapons test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles. The missile was fired from an area near...
 
 
Air Fore photograph by R Nial Bradshaw

Cybersecurity in avionics

Air Fore photograph by R Nial Bradshaw Hill Air Force Base F-35A Lightning IIs fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. To protect aircraft systems, a next generation antivirus program is currentl...