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Exoskeletons are fast becoming more fact than fiction for US soldiers

Lockheed-Martin flickr,exoskeletons

Think exoskeletons in the military and you probably think of sci-fi movies and video games, granting characters almost super-human abilities in the process. But military colossus Lockheed-Martin is actually making the technology a reality, in a sense.

The company has revealed the FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD), which hopes to make a soldier’s life a little bit easier. So what does it actually do?

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“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,” read a release on the contractor’s website.

It’s more than just a mechanical system though, as sensors report the person’s speed, angle of movement and direction. This information is sent to a computer, which then controls “electro-mechanical” actuators in the knees, delivering the right torque at the appropriate time.

The FORTIS exoskeleton boosts carrying capacity and endurance, being available to civilian workers as well

“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,” Lockheed-Martin adds.

The company says it’s also making the exoskeletons available to industrial workers and first responders.

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

Featured image: Lockheed-Martin via Flickr (file image)

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