2Introduction to Robotic Exoskeletons Robotic exoskeletons have been portrayed in Hollywood and video games since the late 1950’s.The fantasy of robotic suites and exoskeletons are shown as technology of the future. For example, the blockbuster hits of The Matrix and Avatar use robotic suites as military and defense mechanisms.
3Starship Troopers 1959Mobile infantry wore suits of powered armor during intergalactic war, protecting them from anti-personnel guns. Along with armor, the suits sported a means of transportation via jetpacks.
5Aliens 1986This Caterpillar Power Loader is perhaps one of the most iconic robotic suits portrayed in films. This pre-CGI suit is the blueprint for modern day robotic exoskeletons. By design this suit was made to assist humans in heavy lifting and loading situations. Add some five-fingered grippers and a machine gun and you basically have the robotic suits of the Matrix and Avatar.
6Halo 2001The Mark V powered armor suit is one of, if not the greatest iconic suits in video games. However, nothing about the suit is very original. It is simply a refined version of the Mobile Infantry suit and dozens of sloppy sci-fi predecessors.
8Reality of Robotic Exoskeletons Enough fantasy! Lets take a look into the reality of Robotic Exoskeletons in the military.Currently there are two robotic suits under contract for military use (THAT WE KNOW OF).The first contract is through Lockheed Martin. Their exoskeleton suit is called the Human Universal Load Carrier, or “HULC” for short.
9The HULCThe HULC is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton. It is designed to assist soldiers in carrying heavy loads across any and all terrains that may arise in combat. With its titanium legs the HULC allows users to carry loads of up to 200 pounds.The HULC makes use of its power-saving design which allows the user to operate on battery power for extended missions.
10The HULC cont.The HULC’s design allows for different attachments to aid soldiers with bearing heavy loads. The main purpose is to eliminate physical stress and injuries.There is also a great emphasis on providing soldiers with the energy to carry out missions. In Afghanistan a soldiers backpack can weigh over 100 pounds itself.
11Raytheon Sarcos XOS 2The second robotic exoskeleton is contracted through the Raytheon Company which specializes in defense technology, homeland and boarder security, and cybersecurity.The Raytheon XOS 2, as is the HULC, is designed to assist soldiers with heavy lifting and prevent physical fatigue and injury. However, the XOS 2 is currently not for field use.The XOS 2 relies on a tethered power source, limiting the range of the suit.
12XOS 2 cont.The XOS 2 is best used as a loader of military supplies in tight spaces where a fork lift simply cannot be used.The suit will allow one soldier to perform the tasks of two or three. The XOS 2 also breaks the physical limitations of the job, allowing anyone man or female of any strength to perform heavy load bearing jobs. It increases the human strength by 17 fold. Simply meaning by exerting one pound of force, the suit exerts 17 pounds!
13ConclusionRobotic exoskeletons are not a fantasy of the future. The reality is we have the technology right now. Just think of what the government may or may not be keeping secret if this is currently what is being made public.We will find these exoskeletons common practice in the military, the work place, and medical field.
15Questions1) Although the HULC and XOS 2 are designed to assist humans in physicallyDemanding tasks. What is the main difference between the two?The HULC is a robotic exoskeleton that encapsulates the lowerextremities while the XOS 2 is a true full body exoskeleton.2) What is the main limitation of the XOS 2 exoskeleton?It is connected to a tethered power source, meaning it is confinedto a local work area.3) How much is the human strength amplified by the XOS 2 exoskeleton?17x’s! When the human exerts 1 pound of force, the XOS 2 exerts 17pounds .