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Lockheed Martin exoskeleton to be tested by US Navy

18th August 2014 - 16:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin will supply two FORTIS exoskeletons to the US Navy for evaluation and testing under a contract announced on 18 August. The contract was issued through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS).

The FORTIS exoskeleton is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton designed to increase the user’s strength and endurance by transferring the weight of heavy loads from his body directly to the ground.

Because its ergonomic design moves naturally with the body and allows operators to maintain flexibility, the user is not hindered by the exoskeleton. This means operators can work longer and more effectively with reduced fatigue from overuse.

The exoskeletons acquired under this contract will be used as part of efforts to mature and transition exoskeleton technology to the Department of Defense industrial base and perform testing and evaluation for industrial hand-tool applications at navy shipyards.

Adam Miller, director of new initiatives at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘Ship maintenance often requires use of heavy tools, such as grinders, riveters or sandblasters. Those tools take a toll on operators due to the tools' weight and the tight areas where they are sometimes used. By wearing the FORTIS exoskeleton, operators can hold the weight of those heavy tools for extended periods of time with reduced fatigue.’

The Shephard News Team

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