The U.S. Navy is currently testing the Lockheed Martin Fortis exoskeleton, designed to help Navy ship maintenance personnel carry heavier loads. Lockheed has developed two separate exoskeleton suits and will work closely with the Navy to analyze which one is better designed to help workers.
Testing will be done at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington. The unpowered, lightweight Fortis exoskeleton increases the wearer's overall strength and endurance, and testing is being done as part of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) program.
"Ship maintenance often requires use of heavy tools, such as grinders, riveters or sandblasters," said Adam Miller, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control director of new initiatives. "By wearing the Fortis exoskeleton, operators can hold the weight of those heavy tools for extended periods of time with reduced fatigue."