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AFRL Demos Exoskeleton to Aid Aerial Porters in Lifting Cargo

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The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Center for Rapid Innovation has demonstrated a pneumatically-powered exoskeleton designed to reduce fatigue and increase the endurance of aerial porters who load and lift large cargo onto aircraft.

Forge System is supported by the Radical Improvements in Personnel Performance through Enhanced Development program, a Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research project that aims to improve warfighters’ cognitive and physical performance.

“If this is optimized for the aerial porters’ particular missions, it is going to mean that teams will be able to load heavier objects on aircraft much faster using less people, which equates to saving the government and taxpayer money,” said John Florio, deputy director of CRI.

He added that the technology could also result in fewer injuries to personnel, leading to service members’ longer careers in the military.

Chief Master Sgt. Sean Storms, aerial port manager from 87th Aerial Port Squadron, and Senior Master Sgt. Brian Anders, assistant aerial port manager, demonstrated the exoskeleton during an event CRI held with the Air Force Reserve Command’s 445th Airlift Wing.