HEAVY LOAD // LIGHT WEIGHT
The Centaur is a load carrying military exoskeleton for heavy and awkward burdens.
It is a light weight wearable, human powered, hydraulic system that reduces the burden, wear and tear of the musculoskeletal systems and discomfort while increasing endurance, survivability and the tooth-to-tail ratio of your forces.
The more tools you can take into the field with you, the better you can perform your task. However, this always used to come at the cost of discomfort and injury.
Centaur helps the body increase its own carrying capacity in a sustainable, healthy way by pushing your backpack up, while you pull forward.
Makes (at maximum) 60kg feel like 12kg. Less strain and stress on shoulders, legs, nerves and joints.
Extra long battery life due to use of human power.
Ready to be taken into the field to test the impact for your armed forces.
No contact with user. No limiting shear and friction forces // maximum motion possible.
helping you // help yourself
The Centaurs simple principle uses hydraulics to give rigidity and shock absorption to the exoskeleton leg during the time it stands on the ground. Lifting the load off the back using the wearers own force forwards.
Validating research from TNO on this principle in early days of the Exobuddy project has shown that wearers are relieved of their burden and that this has an impact on their perceived exertion and comfort.
Potential benifits in the short term are an increased situational awereness, increased combat effectiveness, and a higher survivability. Long term the potential benefits are a higher tooth-to-tail ratio and reduced dropout injuries.
The downside of this principle is that metabolic costs are increased due to a shift from muscle contraction in trunk, legs, and shoulders needed to keep the weight up, to muscle action in legs to lever the weight up using the Centaur.
The upsides are a much lower electrical cost, a simpler more robust system and a more healthy activation of the body.
An increase in load from equipment of 150% in the last 4 decades.
Amongst special forced operatives due to musculoskeletal injuries.
In the US armed forces due to decreased deployability from musculoskeletal injury in 2016.
More to bring // more to carry
The combat capabilities of a single soldier have greatly increased in the past decades, giving more flexibility and more real time communication possibilities. However, these capabilities are gained from new equipment that needs to be transported into the field of battle.
Some situations and missions do not afford the luxury of transportation using vehicles, and manually carrying heavy loads on the back is still a daily reality for many armed forces.
InteSpring, The Dutch Ministry of Defence and the renound research institute TNO have worked on exoskeleton solutions to this problem under the Exobuddy project for 8 years.
From the Exobuddy project InteSpring now proudly presents: the Centaur. A military exoskeleton suit and load carrying system designed for airdropped troop movement, and heavily packed special forces, marines, or supporting roles like medical and engineering troops on low risk approach march.
Increase survivability and lethality of your armed forces with centaur.
Keep people in the field longer, healthier and more alert.
Per Centaur system saved on healthcare, rehabilitation and reassignment.
connect at 3 points //
The legs only connect to the boots and to the load carrying frame of the Centaur. Those are exactly 3 interfaces.
The legs are controlled and positioned freely by the wearer and only augment movement during the times it it firmly planted on the surface.
The weight of the legs themselves are balanced using InteSpring’s patented spring technology, effectively making them weightless during movement.
The complete system can be folded up into itself during walking or for transport.
catering to a broad audience //
There is no form fit or any interaction between wearer and system apart from those interfaces. Making it much simpler to don and doff and much easier to fit large groups of people with varying shapes and forms.
The frame lends itself to carrying a wide variety of loads and easily secures using simple straps or tethers. It can be combined with modular backpack systems or even whole rucksacks if need be.
Currently the Centaur works best with the proprietary boots designed for the Dutch Military. However any boot with a sufficiently rigid sole can be adapted for trials, or an adaptation set can be provided. Requirements for the boots are an insole of level C or stiffer.
The legs and hips are adjustable in length to fit 99% of all military personnel in the range 1m50 – 2m05.
machine learning // human power
The Centaurs human powered hydraulic system is augmented and adjusted real time by a completely proprietary low power electrical system.
A great deal of research has gone into creating a control scheme that allows the wearer full control of the system and only augments the perceived load during stance phase of the wearers locomotion.
Using artificial intelligence the Centaur accurately predicts when its hydraulic systems need to be active and how to give the wearer a fluent and natural feeling experience.
no limitations //
Using a patented layout of articulated joints, balanced with InteSpring’s signature spring systems, the Centaur is designed to stay well out of the way in difficult situations.
Allowing crawling and prone positions, seated and shooting positions as well as leaping and vaulting over obstacles. Helping the wearer to get to safety quickly and dismount the Centaur within seconds once cover has been reached.