New Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Soldiers Carry More Weight

A new robotic exoskeleton developed by Lockheed Martin will help soldiers carry loads of up to 200 pounds for extended periods of time with minimal effort.

The HULC exoskeleton is self-powered and allows a soldier flexibility for upper-body lifting and fluid movement.

It transfers the weight from heavy loads to the ground through battery-powered, titanium "legs" that attach behind the soldier's legs. An builtin micro-computer ensures the exoskeleton moves in sync with human body.

Without batteries, the exoskeleton weights 53 pounds. There are several optional attachments, including a front-loading SWAT shield, a front-loading brace for lifting heavy objects and a foldable kit to lift and carry wounded personnel.

The concept was created by Berkeley Bionics of California, and though an exclusive licensing agreement, Lockheed Martin will advance the HULC's development.

• Click here for the Lockheed Martin press release.

• Click here for the official HULC project page.

• Click here for a two-page Lockheed Martin infosheet (pdf).

• Click here for a Berkeley Bionics YouTube video of the exoskeleton in action.

• Click here for a Lockheed Martin YouTube video.

• Click here for's Patents and Innovation Center.