MLF - Military Logistics

Lockheed Martin awarded exoskeleton work

4th December 2018 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin has received a contract from the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to enhance the Onyx exoskeleton for future soldier demonstrations, the company announced on 29 November.  

Under the two-year, $6.9 million contract, Lockheed Martin will optimise Onyx components for evaluation by the University of Florida in advance of NSRDEC soldier demonstrations scheduled for 2019.

Onyx is a powered, lower-body exoskeleton with artificial intelligence (AI) technology that augments human strength and endurance. The exoskeleton, developed by Lockheed Martin through a license from B-TEMIA, counteracts overstress on the lower back and legs. Using electro-mechanical knee actuators, a suite of sensors, and an AI computer, Onyx learns user movements and delivers the right torque at the right time to assist with walking up steep inclines, lifting or dragging heavy loads.

Keith Maxwell, exoskeleton technologies program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘Innovative human/machine technologies like Onyx can improve human performance, decrease injury and reduce fatigue to help soldiers accomplish physically demanding tasks. This award brings us one step closer to equipping future forces with advanced exoskeleton capabilities.’

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