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FORTIS Human Powered Exoskeleton

FORTIS is a human-powered exoskeleton system designed to reduce metabolic burn rate – a key factor in fatigue – by literally taking the weight of shipbuilders’ tools off their shoulders and transferring it to the ground.


ROBRADY design, United States
Team Lead: Rob Brady
Design: Jeff Nichols, Erik Holmen, Ryan  Donahue, Steve MacFarlane, Joel Chartier 

Lockheed Martin, United States
Team Lead: Keith Maxwell

Redefining the ‘power suit’:
A naval shipbuilder may be required to wield a grinding or cutting tool that weighs more than 30 pounds – and that’s just gravity. Factor in the torque generated from operating that machinery and the Metabolic Burn Rate – the key factor in fatigue – becomes so high, that workers can only perform their tasks for minutes at a time. That is, until they ‘suit up’ with an exoskeleton like FORTIS that dramatically enhances endurance and strength.

Putting the ‘bio’ in biomechanics:
How would the exoskeleton function in concert with its most important component: the human being? The studio is commited to humanise technology-infused FORTIS with ergonomic and environmental refinement that is distinct in exoskeleton design. FORTIS has a lightweight and rugged frame that gives users the ability to ‘suit up’ without assistance and get to work with virtually no learning curve.  

Powered by the people:
The suit can easily be adjusted to the height and handedness of various workers and removed quickly and safely in the event of emergency. Yet, for all the ergonomic refinement, FORTIS makes no compromises on performance. The human-powered suit saves energy and significantly lowers the metabolic burn rate, which extends productivity work rates by 2 to 27 times.


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