The US Army has issued a request for information from defense firms for cutting-edge wearable technology to enhance soldier performance.
In an announcement published on the System for Award Management website, the US Army said that it is now conducting a market survey to identify potential suppliers of a wearable “exoskeleton.”
The announcement also seeks other technologies to improve soldier performance during training and military operations.
“Exoskeleton systems must have demonstrated the principles of user safety, comfort, ease of use, integration with user clothing and individual mission equipment, and energy efficiency,” the service stated. “The technology readiness level for exoskeletons must be five or higher.”
The army clarified that its announcement is not a request for quotations or proposals. It said that responses to the notice will not be considered offers and cannot be accepted by the government to award a contract.
The Exoskeleton System
An Exoskeleton is a computer-controlled device that increases a soldier’s mobility, physical endurance, and load-carrying capacity.
It is essentially a wearable robot that supports warfighters in performing challenging tasks by counteracting overstress on the lower back and legs.
Last year, US Army researchers conducted a study on such cutting-edge devices to assist users at the ankle joint while doing physical tasks.
“Exoskeletons are viewed by the Army as a promising approach to enable soldiers to maintain peak performance when designed to improve strength, endurance, and ergonomics while maintaining user safety and reducing physical injury risk during various occupational tasks, loads, or repetitive motion,” the US Army explained.
Potential developers must submit a document containing a brief technical description of the system and a synopsis of any technical evaluations and experiments.