The state-of-the-art kit uses artificial intelligence to provide additional power and mobility to soldiers allowing them to carry bigger guns into battle.
“We’ve had this on some of the Army’s elite forces, and they were able to run with high agility carrying full loads,” said Keith Maxwell of Lockheed Martin.
Engineers say FORTIS could also give troops the edge in close-quarters urban combat because it enhances soldier mobility, speed and power.
It is built with a "conformal" upper structure that works on a belt attached to the waist.
The belt connects with flexible hip sensors throughout the systems.
These sensors tell the computer where the soldier is in space along with the speed and velocity of the movements – in a similar way Iron Man's suit works in the Marvel films.
“We were showing a decrease in the metabolic cost of transport, the measure of how much energy is required to climb uphill,” said Maxwell.
Engineers report that FORTIS reduces the amount of energy required to perform a task by nine per cent, using on-board AI to learn the gait of an individual soldier.
“It knows what you are trying to do when you are trying to do it,” said Maxwell.
“It locks and gives you a forward torque-twist that causes the lower leg to move toward the back, then it reverses direction to bring your leg forward.”
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