Ekso Bionics has been awarded a contract to develop a new exoskeleton design for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (Darpa) Warrior Web program.
The new initiative is focused on the creation of a groundbreaking flexible exoskeleton designed to reduce the wearer’s energy output while also assisting with load carriage.
This is the fourth time Darpa has tapped the company’s Ekso Labs division for its unparalleled exoskeleton knowledge to develop a more advanced generation of exoskeletons.
Russ Angold, co-founder of Ekso Bionics and president of Ekso Labs, the engineering division of Ekso Bionics, said: “It is an honor to once again be selected by Darpa to deliver on another valuable project that will benefit our soldiers.
“This is a follow-on project from our first Warrior Web project, which we were subcontracted on by Google’s Boston Dynamics, and will develop a related, but very different technology.
“We share Darpa’s commitment to advancing functionality for cutting edge exoskeleton technology and look forward to leveraging our world class IP portfolio to help design a customized suit that will improve soldier performance by alleviating musculoskeletal load.”
With over 190 international patent cases granted or pending, Ekso Bionics is a leader in intellectual property for robotic exoskeleton design, and has extensive experience providing technology to partnering organizations such as US Special Operations Command, Boston Dynamics (now part of Alphabet/Google), and the National Institutes of Health.
This phase of Ekso’s Warrior Web project will be designed to Darpa’s program guidelines over the course of 18 months.
Ekso Bionics will engage Under Armour as a subcontractor in the third phase of the program to test the system’s durability and ability to be manufactured at scale, and support beta testing of the suit at the Army Research Laboratory Human Research and Engineering Directorate at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Sam McCleery, VP of global innovation for Under Armour, said: “Under Armour is excited to bring our innovative approach to problem solving and product development to this next generation of exoskeletons. The partnership that we have established with Ekso Bionics to provide our soldiers and civilians with cutting edge technology continues to be rewarding, and we look forward to helping advance this initiative.”