Pittsburgh companies helping create exoskeletal suit for military

PITTSBURGH — Two Pittsburgh companies, Vigilant Technologies and Interphase Materials, are helping to create a new exoskeletal suit for the U.S. military.

“You’re in an actual combat situation and squad leaders need to make a decision. Do we need to set up shop tonight here at base camp or can we make a 10 mile run to the next rendezvous point? Or can we complete it in the next 24 hours based on everyone’s fatigue metrics,” said Vigilant CEO Andy Chan.

Chan said the idea is to help soldiers in the field. His company’s role is to help create the software that would provide real time information about how soldiers are holding up.

“So if you can imagine, it’s very similar to a professional soccer athlete. They’re tracking their distance run, caloric expenditures, very similar in training mock situations. So at one point we say hey at this point it’s time to pull somebody out of training so they’re not injured and we can get them ready for actual combat,” Chan said.

He said this type of technology could also help prevent casualties by pulling troopers from the field or combat if their vital signs aren’t safe.