Pentagon”s Robotic Exosuit Program Making Strides

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October 10, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: October 10 on

Scientists and engineers are pushing forward a cutting-edge U.S. military robotics project that could reduce war fighter fatigue and ward off injuries.

The Warrior Web program, spearheaded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aims to significantly lower the “metabolic cost” — or energy expenditure — of troops operating in the field, and reduce the physiological burden of the gear that they carry, which can exceed 100 pounds.

To accomplish this, the Defense Department and the private sector are developing soft robotic exosuits that are designed to provide power and torque to critical body joints.

“The basic idea is … we use textile components to anchor it to the body, anchor it at the calf, anchor to the thigh, the waist belt, the foot,” explained Conor Walsh, a leading robotics expert at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, which has received DARPA funding to work on Warrior Web technology.

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