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IPFS News Link • United States

US Military Introduces Exoskeleton Suit For Soldiers

• by Tyler Durden

SABER weighs just three pounds and is a harness that soldiers strap around their shoulders and legs. All a soldier has to do to activate the suit is press a button on the left shoulder. When activated, the exoskeleton suit reduces stress on soldiers' backs by more than 100 pounds while lifting all sorts of heavy items, such as ammo boxes, artillery rounds, and .50 caliber machine guns. Testing showed that most soldiers had a 60% increase in endurance while wearing the suit. 

Researchers at Vanderbilt designed SABER and worked with soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division to test exoskeleton suits in heavy-lifting field scenarios. The exosuit addresses the need to reduce injury and fatigue, which are critical to combat readiness. 

"We spent the first few months focused on interviewing, observing, and spending time with Soldiers.

"We didn't try to create Iron Man — a complex, full-body, rigid, unrealistic suit. Instead, we started by deeply understanding Soldier needs to develop a lightweight, low-profile, non-powered wearable tool that helps provide much-needed assistance without slowing Soldiers down or interfering with other operational tasks," said Dr. Karl Zelik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Vanderbilt University.