28 Sep 2018

Exoskeleton analysis commissioned by US Army RDECOM Soldier Center

The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center has commissioned a detailed engineering analysis of existing and emerging exoskeleton products as part of its ongoing exoskeleton evaluation program.

The effort is a collaborative engagement among the Soldier Center, Boston Engineering and Materiel Developers. It is envisaged the outputs of the effort will benefit the ultimate user — the warfighter — and will also serve as a valuable tool for exoskeleton developers in their product improvement and optimisation processes.

Following the directions set forth by the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Mark A. Milley, the Soldier Center has amped up its efforts to address the anticipated operational warfighter benefits of exoskeletons.

The Soldier Center has been evaluating exoskeleton technologies since the early 2000s, focusing primarily on optimised soldier performance and squad lethality, faster dismounted movement to objectives, and reducing physiological and cognitive load burden of combat duty.

The Soldier Performance Optimization Directorate (SPOD) leads the effort to demonstrate a high Technology Readiness Level, or TRL, for exoskeletons in operationally relevant environments and to transition them to Program Executive Office, Soldier, or PEO Soldier, for fielding.

David Audet, Chief, Mission Equipment & Systems Branch, SPOD, said: “”We are encouraged by the potential to advance exoskeleton capabilities for needs that span from enhanced mobility and stamina for infantry to added strength for combat engineering missions.”

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