The key weight-bearing component of Lockheed Martin’s FORTIS® industrial exoskeleton is now available as a separate product. Capable of supporting weight up to 50 pounds, the unpowered FORTIS Tool Arm relieves fatigue as users work with heavy industrial tools.
“In some cases, you want to support heavy tool loads like the FORTIS exoskeleton does, but don’t need much mobility,” said Glenn Kuller, Advanced and Special Programs vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
“Examples are when workers need to use tools on elevated platforms, at benches or with service vehicles. The tool arm transfers weight through these structures and provides the well-known safety and productivity benefits of FORTIS.”
(Learn More as Trish Aelker of Lockheed Martin describes the use of the FORTIS Exoskeleton. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)
Craftspeople operating heavy, powered hand tools, especially when working overhead or on vertical surfaces, ordinarily have to support tool weight to accomplish the task.
The FORTIS Tool Arm supports this load and isolates much of the vibration and torque kick from the tool. Users report two-thirds less fatigue, resulting in higher quality work, greater productivity and fewer musculoskeletal injuries.
FORTIS is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that increases an operator’s strength and endurance by transferring the weight of heavy loads from the operator’s body directly to the ground through a series of joints at the hips, knees and ankles.
Originating from Lockheed Martin’s exoskeleton research to assist soldiers in carrying heavy equipment over long distances, the same principles have been applied for use in industrial settings.
Recently, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences concluded that the FORTIS exoskeleton could mitigate nearly all injuries from industrial power tools by making them effectively weightless during operation.