Lockheed Martin is testing two exoskeleton suits that will potentially help U.S. Navy ship crew members with maintenance.

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

The world is one step closer to making the Iron Man suit a reality. The Defense Department has given Lockheed Martin the green light to test two exoskeletons that would help the Navy's ship maintenance crew with anything that requires heavy lifting. 

According to the Washington Post, Lockheed developed the two exoskeleton suits and has been given the contract to also test and evaluate them. The testing will be conducted at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington State.

“Ship maintenance often requires use of heavy tools, such as grinders, riveters or sandblasters,” said Adam Miller, director of new initiatives at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “By wearing the Fortis exoskeleton, operators can hold the weight of those heavy tools for extended periods of time with reduced fatigue.”

The Fortis is an exoskeleton that looks like a motion-capture suit and can adapt to different body types and heights. Wearers of Fortis can lift up to 36 pounds.

Lockheed has been working on the technology for the last five years, but this is the first time they have received an order from the government to test the product.

The company is also working with the U.S. Special Operations Command on an armor-style suit called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). This exoskeleton is being designed specifically for battlefield applications.

See a demonstration of the TALOS prototype in the video below.