Monday, August 23, 2010

Exoskeletons Enhance Soldiers' Muscle Power

Scaled-down personalized versions of the exoskeleton featured in James Cameron's movie "Alien" (in a fight between Sigourney Weaver and the extraterrestrial) as well as in Cameron's "Avatar" (again as an offensive weapon) will soon be multiplying the muscle power of U.S. soldiers. Look for exoskeleton's that to act as both prosthetics for the disabled as well as muscle-multipliers for the able-bodied within three years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

The Lockheed-Martin Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) exoskeleton uses power-assisted straps to act as arms when picking up heavy objects.

Here is what Smarter Technology says about exoskeletons: In nature, many species have exoskeletons—from scorpions to lobsters—but most animals, including people, have embedded skeletons that are not always up to the task at hand. Soldiers in the field, for instance, sometimes need to carry a fallen comrade over great distances, testing the limits of their muscle power. And millions are wheelchair-bound worldwide because their muscle power comes up short. Now with the help of powered exoskeletons, loads can be born that are impossible to lift with muscle alone. Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, Md.) recently announced that its Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) exoskeleton had landed a $1.1 million contract to conduct human trials. Lockheed's HULC will enable solders to multiply their strength and endurance...
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