Watch Army Exoskeletons Stomp, Haul Steel

(Wired)   Much of the fanfare at this week’s Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington D.C. touted the expected dronesrobot gunshelicopters and armored vehicles. But then there were the guys walking around in 82 pounds’ worth of hydraulic-powered exoskeletons.

Lockheed Martin’s Human Universal Load Carrier, or HULC, is a load-bearing piece of equipment that can lift up to 200 pounds. The video above shows how HULC is designed to save soldiers’ knees and backs from the strain of carrying heavy gear. Russ Angold of HULC partner-developer Berkeley Bionics gets into the exoskeleton and lifts a 90-plus pound steel shield with ease. (He can even drum his fingers alongside the shield as the HULC shoulders the weight and keeps it aloft.)

HULC’s competitor exoskeleton, the Raytheon XOS 2, showed its swagger last month, when Raytheon got one of the Iron Man actors to lift weights, throw shadow punches and do push-ups. But Raytheon didn’t bring the XOS 2 to AUSA, so the HULC could strut around the convention floor like it owned the place. People gawked at the exoskeleton, but no one wanted to get in its way.

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