engineers from the US army research laboratory have developed a ‘third arm‘ for soldiers that doesn’t need batteries, lightweight and can evenly distribute the load of a heavy weapon. the ‘load-bearing exoskeleton’ weights less than four pounds and attaches to the weapon and the soldier’s waist belt to helps take the weight off of the soldier’s arms.
images by conrad johnson © US army
the device is still in an early prototype stage but a small pilot study in 2017 showed it can improve marksmanship, reduce arm fatigue and muscle activation for some soldiers. ‘it can help stabilize the weapon and take the load off of their arms,’ ARL mechanical engineer dan baechle explains, ‘it’s made from composite materials to make it as light as possible, but also to ensure the range of motion that soldiers need,’ he continues.
prosthesis (22 articles)
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