Army researchers to take ideas from industry on soldier load-bearing technologies Dec. 11 and 12

NATICK, Mass., 22 Oct 2014. U.S. Army researchers plan to brainstorm with industry in December on new technologies for augmenting soldiers on the battlefield with exoskeleton devices and other load-bearing aides to help with future technology development.

Army researchers to take ideas from industry on soldier load-bearing technologies Dec. 11 and 12
Army researchers to take ideas from industry on soldier load-bearing technologies Dec. 11 and 12
NATICK, Mass., 22 Oct 2014. U.S. Army researchers plan to brainstorm with industry in December on new technologies for augmenting soldiers on the battlefield with exoskeleton devices and other load-bearing aides to help with future technology development.

Officials of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, Mass., will conduct the Human Augmentation And Army Vision 2025 Roundtable on 11 and 12 Dec. 2014 at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in Lowell, Mass.

The invitation-only event is for government, industry, and academia personnel, Army officials say. Discussions will center on robotic technologies to enhance the mission performance, safety, and capabilities of warfighters through human augmentation and load assistance.

Related: Army starts testing Lockheed Martin HULC computer-controlled robotic exoskeleton for infantry soldiers

One example of human augmentation and load assistance is the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) from the Lockheed Martin Corp. in Orlando, Fla., which licenses the technology from HULC developer Berkeley Bionics in Berkeley, Calif.

HULC is an untethered, hydraulic-powered robotic exoskeleton that helps infantry soldiers carry loads as heavy as 200 pounds over all terrain for extended periods.

Army researchers are trying to determine the state of physical augmentation technologies, identify technological gaps, and consider potential areas of research.

Related: Army eyes exoskeleton technology to reduce wear and tear on soldiers from wearing helmets

Tentative roundtable topics include man-machine interfaces such as algorithms, controls systems, and other engineering; human factors such as range of motion, safety, comfort, biomechanics, and injury mechanisms; consumers and users and their operations and applications; and standards and test methods.

Those interested in attending should respond by email no later than 7 Nov 2014 to david.j.audet2.civ@mail.mil. Include name, company, company address, company website URL, email address, phone number, brief description of experience, and ability to contribute to the discussion. Place Round Table in the subject line.

For questions or concerns phone the Army's Darlene Rideout at 508-233-6134. More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/376f5fb012c037ead6b8de3b006e5600.

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