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While Cyberdyne Inc’s HAL is helping disabled people move once again, Lockheed Martin’s HULC Exoskeleton is transforming able-bodied soldiers into mechanized warriors capable of feats of strength, speed and endurance never before seen by humans.

A hydraulic exoskeleton, the HULC allows soldiers to perform superhuman feats such as carrying loads of 90 kilograms (200 pounds) over difficult terrain for hours on end, all the while retaining maximum mobility. It achieves this by augmenting the soldier with a pair of powered titanium legs and a computercontrolled exoskeleton with a built-in power supply. This mechanism transfers the weight carried by the soldier into the ground, while providing power for continued, agile movement in the theatre of war.

Due to the HULC’s advanced composite construction and build materials, it also acts as armour for its user, protecting them from musculoskeletal injuries caused by stress from carrying heavy loads. Indeed, when you consider that HULC may also improve metabolic efficiency in its user, reduce oxygen consumption and improve the rate of muscle wear, its hard not to see the future of frontline combat becoming reliant on these mech warriors.