Lockheed Martin and Deakin University join forces to boost capacity of robotic exoskeleton

09 Oct 2018

US-based Lockheed Martin has partnered with Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research (IISRI) to work on improving the aerospace manufacturer’s FORTIS Exoskeleton.

The FORTIS is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that makes tools weighing up to 16 kilograms feel weightless – reducing user fatigue and improving worker safety. It was developed from Lockheed Martin’s research to assist soldiers in carrying heavy equipment over long distances, and then applied to industrial settings.

‘Lockheed Martin invests in partnerships with Australia’s research and industry communities to support our global supply chains, providing opportunities for technology transfer, innovation, local skilled jobs and sustainable business growth,’ says Scott Thompson, Strategic Engagement Director, Lockheed Martin Australia, in a company media release.

‘The innovative work done by Dr Mohammed Hossny and his team at Deakin’s IISRI extends the technological foundation for the FORTIS Exoskeleton with the potential for a broad range of applications across the defence, automotive and mining industries,’ says Thompson.

‘This exciting collaboration demonstrates both the attractiveness of Australia as a research and development investment destination for global primes like Lockheed Martin,’ says Roland Stephens, Austrade’s Senior Investment Specialist in Advanced Manufacturing and Defence. ‘It also reveals the vitality of Australia’s universities in supplying commercially relevant capability to those primes.

‘Lockheed Martin Australia has underlined its commitment to Australia by collaborating with Deakin at IISRI. FORTIS represents an outstanding example of innovative Australian research capability in robotics and haptics, with applications across a variety of sectors.’

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, US, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.