Major technological strides often come in different areas, whether its finance, retail, or health, But one other sector is a major purveyor of tech innovation, but it’s a sector that’s often very secretive about their advancements.
B-Temia is teaming up with Lockheed Martin to build out the former’s exoskeleton technology through a new $9.2 million CAD ($6.9 million USD) agreement. Based in Quebec City, B-Temia will work with Lockheed Martin as well as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to optimize what will be known as the ONYX exoskeleton, a militarized version of B-Temia’s Dermoskeleton. The involved organizations are hoping to field test the new tech soon. ONYX is a brand owned by Lockheed Martin and it will be co-branded with B-Temia.
“This work is another key event in our growth phase and provides us the ability to significantly increase our technological edge with our Dermoskeleton technology,” said B-Temia’s CEO Stephane Bedard. “B-Temia is now expanding, not only around the world, but also in the military market. This NSRDEC/Lockheed Martin agreement is another acknowledgment from the market on the value of our Dermoskeleton. We are proud and thrilled to materialize our vision of protecting the biomechanical health of military personnel.”
The new ONYX exoskeleton is a lower body wearable that augments human strength and endurance. It is powered by AI and can counteract stress on the wearer’s lower back and legs. Through the use of electro-mechanical knee actuators and a suite of sensors, the exoskeleton’s AI can learn and track the wearer’s movements and deliver the correct amount of torque at the exact right time to assist with walking up steep inclines and lifting or dragging heavy loads.
“Innovative human/machine technologies like ONYX can improve human performance, decrease injury and reduce fatigue to help soldiers accomplish physically demanding tasks,” said Keith Maxwell, exoskeleton technologies program manager at Lockheed Martin.
B-Temia has been creating exoskeletons for use in the military and health fields since 2010. The company focuses on an emerging science called dermoskeletics that studies how the body interacts with its environment while being assisted with a motorized mechanism. Beyond military uses, B-Temia has created other offerings such as the Keeogo, a walking assistive device designed to aid those with mobility or endurance issues.