10th Mountain Division of US Army will be The First to test Exoskeleton Technology

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The exoskeleton is a wearable mobile machine that is powered by a system made up with electric motors, pneumatics, levers, hydraulics, or a combination of technologies which enhance the strength of limb movement and endurance.

The ONYX exoskeleton developed by Lockheed Martin will be tested by the US Soldiers of 10th Mountain Division for the first time after a long wait, developers say it can reduce injuries, help troops in weighing loads and move around the battlefield easily.

Exoskeleton by Lockheed Martin

Keith Maxwell, senior program engineer for the company’s exoskeleton technologies,”The first phase will include a six-month ‘development effort’ in which researchers work on ‘quality of life’ portions of making the knee and hip focused device fit comfortable and correctly to the soldier’s body.”

10th Mountain Soldiers will test for the ONYX and evaluate the changes in an exoskeleton “concept of operations”. The second phase of testing will start in early 2019 to add in faster, quieter actuators to the device, which will be again tested by 10th Mountain Soldiers. Then the third phase of testing for shock-resisting operation before the Army decides if or when the tech will be fielded. By early 2021 the device could be ready for fielding.

In a challenging scenario, when troops or soldiers does climbing especially with loads, upstairs, mountain faces create an impact on soldier’s endurance and strength but also gives them significant injuries to their back, hip or knees. And that’s where Exoskeleton provides support which allows soldiers to transfer their weight of the load to the device.