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The exoskeleton is able to carry 200lbs plus its own 53lb weight without burdening the soldier strapped to it, transferring the weight to the ground through titanium rods. It also doesn’t hinder movement and allows for running, squatting and jumping. The exo-skeleton is the perfect resource for carrying supplies into mountains and thin air
The HULC Exoskeleton Will Reduce Strain of Carrying Heavy Equipment
Lockheed Martin‘s Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) exoskeleton is ready for military testing. Since last we heard of the thing it’s been “ruggedized” and made a little more battle-hardy, able to carry 200lbs plus its own 53lb heft without burdening the doughy soldier inside, demonstrated after the break. It supports the cargo plus its own weight through articulated rods that follow the legs to the ground, meaning grunts can haul heavy equipment to the battle and arrive feeling refreshed. Next up for the suit is eight weeks of military trials ahead of hitting the battlefield sometime next year.
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Berkeley Robotics & Human Engineering Laboratory
The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC™) is the third generation exoskeleton system. It incorporates the features of ExoHiker™ and ExoClimber™ exhibiting two independent characteristics:
- It takes up to 200 pounds without impeding the wearer (Strength Augmentation)
- It decreases its wearer’s metabolic cost (Endurance Augmentation).
While the first characteristic requires little explanation, the 2nd characteristic is a compelling and competitive advantage of HULC™ completely absent in any other exoskeleton system. During preliminary evaluations, oxygen consumption of users walking at a speed of 2 MPH, decreased by 5%~12% when using our Alpha test unit without a payload. When users carried a load, the effect was more pronounced. The oxygen consumption of these users carrying an 81 pound approach load at a speed of 2MPH decreased by about 15% when using the prototype HULC™
The reduction of the wearer’s metabolic cost is of paramount importance for long duration missions. This is true because excessive oxygen consumption leads to premature fatigue even if the exoskeleton supports the load. In fact, a very recent BAA from the Natick Soldier System Center requests proposals to conduct a preliminary study on solutions that lead to a reduction of oxygen consumption. HULC™ fueled by proprietary technology, will allow soldiers to march with load at lower oxygen consumption and heart rate than any exoskeleton in existence. Lockheed Martin and Berkeley Bionics intend to jointly bring HULC™ to market. – Source
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