Initial Evaluation of the Dermoskeleton Concept – Application of Biomechatronics and Artificial Intelligence to Address the Soldiers Overload Challenge


  1. Bedard, S.
  2. Tack, D.
  3. Pageau, G.
  4. Ricard, B.
  5. Rittenhouse, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);B-Temia Inc, Quebec Que (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
A key challenge faced by military forces conducting dismounted operations is the excessive physical load burden resulting from the need to increase soldier survivability against asymmetric threats. The typical weight burden often exceeds 40 kg which is beyond the recommended maximum load limits which lead to acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries. This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of a new device called “Dermoskeleton” designed to counterpart the acute and chronic impacts of the distributed overload bearing of dismounted soldiers in all their tasks, e.g. marching and fighting modes. The performance of the initial prototypes was evaluated experimentally using standardized quantitative aerobic and anaerobic tests. The evaluation protocol included two conditions (with and without the device), with three weight criteria (no weight, 25 lbs, 50 lbs), and three (3) short/intense exercises tests: 1) performing the maximum amount of squats possible, 2) continuously climbing 3 flights of stairs for a period of 20 minutes and 3) conducting the Canadian Home Fitness Test (CHFT). The results showed a significant mechanical advantage (i.e. 48%) during the squat test. The current proof-of-concept prototype did not show a physiological benefit for stair climbing tasks but for one (1) participant. During the CHFT, the physiological effort with the device raised at about 5% to 10%. However, the participants perceived less physically exerting while loaded
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2011-498 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 May 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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