.Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC), United States of America
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Country US Weight 53lb (24kg) Payload Capacity 200lb (91kg) Range 20km Maximum Speed 11kmph (long duration), 16kmph (burst speed) .
The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) is an exoskeleton being developed by Lockheed Martin for dismounted soldiers. The hydraulically-powered HULC enables soldiers to carry heavy loads with minimal strain on their body.
The system is expected to reduce musculoskeletal injuries that occur in soldiers due to lifting of loads.
The HULC enables soldiers to carry loads up to 200lb (91kg). The weight of the load gets transferred to the ground through the shoes of the exoskeleton.
This ensures the weight doesn't shift to the soldier's body, hampering his movement. The exoskeleton is suitable for use on any terrain.
The HULC was originally developed by Berkeley Bionics (now Ekso Bionics) in 2008. Lockheed Martin acquired the design licence from Berkeley in 2009.
"The hydraulically-powered HULC enables soldiers to carry heavy loads with minimal strain on their body."Lockheed Martin unveiled the HULC system at the Association of the United States' Army Winter Symposium held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in February 2009.
In July 2010, the company signed a $1.1m contract with the US Army Natick Soldier Center for testing and evaluating the ruggedised HULC design.
Under the contract, the Natick Soldier Center tested the HULC for its effect on the soldier's performance, the energy that a soldier spends while using it and the adaptability of the system while carrying various loads and moving at various speeds. The contract has also provided provision for field trials of the system.
The HULC underwent laboratory testing in October 2010, after Lockheed Martin upgraded the ruggedised system for flexibility and suitability to a variety of users. The system was put through...
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