FORTIS Exoskeleton Not Quite Ripley's Alien-Fighting Exoskeleton

The FORTIS exoskeleton is a next-generation unpowered exoskeleton to enhance the strength of the user.


(FORTIS exoskeleton video)

FORTIS™ exoskeleton transfers loads through the exoskeleton to the ground in standing or kneeling positions and allows operators to use heavy tools as if they were weightless. An advanced ergonomic design moves naturally with the body and adapts to different body types and heights. Using various mechanical arms, operators can effortlessly hold heavy hand tools, increasing productivity by reducing muscle fatigue.

Who among us does not recall with some nostalgia the powerloader used by Ripley in Aliens. Maybe Lockheed Martin could add a battery pack...


(Ripley's powerloader exoskeleton)

For those who missed the excellent 1932 classic A Conquest of Two Worlds, Edmond Hamilton wrote about how scientists solved the problem of how to work in the heaviest gravity environment in the solar system. He doesn't quite get to the idea of an exoskeleton (see the medical exoskeleton described in Fritz Leiber's 1968 novel A Specter is Haunting Texas for that) but he makes a real effort to address the problem.

The greatest difficulty, Crane saw, was Jupiter's gravitation...

Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor which would support the interior human structure against Jupiter's pull. Crane's men were also administered compounds devised by the biochemists for the rapid building of bone to strengthen the skeleton structure...
(Read more about Hamilton's Rigid Metallic Clothing)

Read more about the FORTIS exoskeleton.

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