Lockheed Martin tests next-generation design of its robotic exoskeleton
November 1, 2010
Lockheed Martin recently began laboratory testing of an improved next-generation design of its HULC advanced robotic exoskeleton.
The testing now under way will validate the ruggedized system’s capabilities and reliability in a variety of simulated battlefield conditions, and brings HULC a step closer to readiness to support troops on the ground and others who must carry heavy loads.
HULC is an untethered, battery powered, hydraulic-actuated anthropomorphic exoskeleton capable of performing deep squats, crawls and upper-body lifting with minimal human exertion.
It is designed to transfer the weight from heavy loads to the ground through the robotic legs of the lower-body exoskeleton, taking the weight off of the operator.
An advanced onboard microcomputer ensures the exoskeleton moves in concert with the operator.
Lockheed Martin further refined the HULC’s form and fit, allowing the operator to adapt to the exoskeleton in less time. The ruggedized structure allows for rapid, repeatable adjustments to the torso and thigh length, without special tools, to better suit a wider variety of users.
It also conforms to the body and incorporates lumbar padding for comfort and support. Additionally, the upgraded HULC features improved control software to better track the user’s movements.
Adapted from materials provided by Lockheed Martin