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Stronger, faster and harder is the promise of a new exoskeleton developed by Lockheed Martin for U.S. soldiers. Dubbed the Human Universal Load Carrier, or HULC, the device helps a soldier carry up to 200 pounds at a top speed of 10 mph.
"The soldier has the feeling of maybe an extra five to 10 pounds," said Doug Medcalf, Business Development Manager at Lockheed Martin. Today some soldiers are carrying loads of up to 130 pounds into combat.
The HULC is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to carry loads of up to 200 lbs for extended periods of time and over all terrains. Its flexible design allows for deep squats, crawls and upper-body lifting. There is no joystick or other control mechanism. The exoskeleton senses what users want to do and where they want to go. It augments their ability, strength and endurance. An onboard micro-computer ensures the exoskeleton moves in concert with the individual. Its modularity allows for major components to be swapped out in the field. Additionally, its unique power-saving design allows the user to operate on battery power for extended missions. The HULC’s load-carrying ability works even when power is not available.
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Press Release
Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
The concept of an exoskeleton for military purposes is certainly not a new idea.