Robotics - Easing the warrior's load


Soldiers, the elderly and handicapped alike will get a big assist with exoskeleton technology being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners. The goal of the project is to enhance the load carrying capability, mobility and endurance of the land warrior and others. For the military, the exoskeleton would, for example, make possible long marches with backpack loads of up to 300 pounds. In the first phase of the project, ORNL scientist Francois Pin and researchers from AeroVironment have overcome perhaps the biggest hurdle by developing an integrated fuel transformer/fuel cell power supply. Others involved in the Department of Defense-funded project are Virginia Tech, Army Research Laboratory and the University of Minnesota, who are working with ORNL on the development of actuation, human-machine sensing interfaces, and controls technologies.

 -  Ron Walli,  865.576.0226,  December 01, 2002

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