SpringActive asked to refine a robotic system designed to help foot soldiers carry heavy loads

ORLANDO, Fla.-U.S. military researchers are asking an Arizona robotics company to refine its design of a robotic exoskeleton system designed to help infantry soldiers and Marines carry heavy loads for long periods during military operations while mitigating the risk of injury to hips, knees, and ankles.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at the Aberdeen Proving Ground Adelphi Division in Orlando, Fla., on behalf of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., has announced plans to modify a previously awarded sole-source contract to SpringActive Inc. in Tempe, Ariz., for the Joint Torque Augmentation Robot (JTAR) program.

Military researchers want SpringActive to refine the JTAR ankle and hip designs after testing the first system prototype at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., revealed weaknesses in the first designs. The contract modification will call for SpringActive engineers to re-design the JTAR robotic system so that it fits and works better than the initial prototype.

JTAR stores and releases energy by using tuned springs and by converting electrical energy from a battery to ease stresses on the infantryman's hips, knees, and ankles while he walks or runs-especially while carrying heavy loads.

SpringActive is refining a system based on the company's Robotic Lightweight Load Carrying Exoskeleton (ROLLE), shown above, for Army soldiers and Marines.
SpringActive is refining a system based on the company's Robotic Lightweight Load Carrying Exoskeleton (ROLLE), shown above, for Army soldiers and Marines.

The Army is asking SpringActive to refine the JTAR ankle and reciprocating hip system after biomechanical testing of the first prototypes found improvements could be made in the JTAR system's fit and function, Army officials describe.

The contract modification adds four months to the JTAR-development project, and awards SpringActive an additional $210,000 to complete modifications to the system. Re-competing the contract, on the other hand, would cost at least $1.2 million and take about two years, Army officials point out.

SpringActive specializes in robotic systems not only to help foot soldiers in the field, but also in advanced-technology prosthetic limbs to help amputees and the disabled walk and run normally.

Among the company's military robotic systems is the Robotic Lightweight Load Carrying Exoskeleton (ROLLE), which helps lighten soldier loads with two externally mounted robotic legs that link a modified vest and backpack system to mounts on a soldier's specialized boot.

The robotic legs use SpringActive's JackSpring-compliant actuator technology to support the load down to the ground through the grounded leg when the leg is not in the swing phase.

SpringActive also designs the Soldier Power Regeneration Kit (SPaRK), which provides the foot soldier with a capability to generate electric power while walking to augment and extend traditional power sources like batteries.

The SPaRK system, which mounts to the infantryman's boot and harvests energy from ankle motion, serves as an emergency backup power supply when battery power is depleted, and does not fatigue the soldier, company officials say. The SPaRK system can generate a continuous three to six watts of power output per leg.

For additional information visit SpringActive online at www.springactive.com, or the Army Contracting Command at www.acc.army.mil.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPedite5205 | Embedded Services Router (ESR) with Cisco IOS® on an XMC/PMC Module

The XPedite5205 XMC/PMC-based Embedded Services Router (ESR) router runs Cisco IOS® Software with...


Suitable for large castings, EP21LVSP6 is a room temperature curing system with a long open time ...

MasterSil 152

Low viscosity MasterSil 152 is a two component silicone system that cures when exposed to air at ...

MasterSil 705TC

One component MasterSil 705TC is a thermally conductive, electrically isolating silicone for bond...

Super Gel 9AO

Featuring resounding softness and dimensional stability, Super Gel 9AO is a two component system ...


Flame retardant EP90FR-HFL is a toughened epoxy that passes FAR standard 14 CFR 25.853(a). Theref...

Product # 2456 - Single Output AC-DC Power Supply

AC-DC converter in a rugged aluminum chassis operates with a 115 Vrms, 60Hz, single phase input t...

Product # 2161 - Low Harmonic Distortion Three Phase 9 KW AC-DC Power Supply

Multi-kilowatt AC-DC power supply operates from 115 Vrms, three phase, 60 Hz, MIL-STD-1399 Sectio...

EMI Filters

EMI Filters are designed as part of our AC-DC and DC-DC products. They can be made stand-alone to...

Product # 1930 - Single Output 500 W AC-DC Power Supply

Low voltage AC-DC single output power supply incorporates standard high density converters to pro...

Related Companies

Master Bond

For over 35 years, Master Bond has been supplying aerospace and defense manufacturers with custom formulated compound...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...


Specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance analog semiconductors, Products include amplifiers, ana...

JuiceBox Energy Inc

JuiceBox Energy develops, engineers and manufactures advanced energy storage systems for residential, government and ...


VPT, Inc. is a global leader in providing power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, and space applica...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

North Atlantic Industries Inc

The top 10 defense companies worldwide rely  on NAI Solutions NAI is a leading independent provider of specializ...

TXO Systems Ltd

TXO Systems is the world’s leading telecoms network asset management specialist. Founded in 2005 and operating on fiv...


PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) delivers technology solutions that transform the way companies create, operate and service their pr...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...


New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

Latest from the Paris Air Show

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles