Airing every Sunday 9/8c, National Geographic’s latest TV show Breakthrough, hosted by Paul Giamatti, provides a unique walkthrough into the growing arena of “how-to-enhance-human-beings” using advanced science and technology. In their latest episode, “More Than Human,” Giamatti gets up close and personal with Lockheed Martin’s newest exoskeleton suit FORTIS (video clip of the episode is provided below).
“To help lighten the load, the FORTIS exoskeleton makes it easy for workers to lift up 36 lbs., reducing muscle fatigue and increasing their work rate. This adjustable exoskeleton bears the weight of heavy tools and has joints that align with the human body, making it practical to use for many different applications.”
Accommodating each individual’s anthropometrical measurements (body types), the FORTIS exoskeleton is a one-size-fits-all aluminum and carbon fiber frame suit. Developed by a team of engineers employed by Lockheed Martin, this exoskeleton will allow workers to carry around heavy equipment for hours, and equally will be used for emergency rescue missions during a catastrophic event. It will reduce muscle fatigue by 300% and increase a person’s work rate by 2 to 27x.
As Paul Giamatti said during Breakthrough‘s latest episode, “creating an interface between man and machine is what cyborgs are all about.” Which is a spot on analysis when looking at advanced technologies like the FORTIS exoskeleton. After all, what is a cyborg? We live in a present day of which peoples’ lives are heavily reliant on advanced technologies, from smartphones to medical implants.
One could argue that, today, humans could be considered as “baby cyborgs,” having only reached its adolescent stage of cyborgism. We’re just now starting to allow machines to take over our bodily functions when we need them most. Without falling into the “slippery slope” logical fallacy, it would appear that our increasing immersion of exoskeletons into the workforce could very well be our stepping stone towards a cyborg future.