Uprise® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton


Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton is a wearable device that redirects the load carried by soldiers to the ground through mechanical levers. This tactical exoskeleton is a disruptive technology that has the potential to change the way wars are fought by deeply transforming soldier systems, soldier modernization programs and load-carriage domains.


The need: Lessening the soldier's burden

Lessening the soldier's burden is one of the top five (5) priorities of Armed Forces across the world.

Wars taking place more and more in urban environments, soldiers will in a near future have to raise the frequency and duration of their pedestrian displacements, the targeted regions being hard or even impossible to reach with a vehicle.

For a soldier equipped with the UPRISE® Passive Exoskeleton, it would be easier to transport its equipment (up to 120lb depending on missions) and its ease and range of motion would not be hampered by the carried weight as it is the case without the exoskeleton on. This will guarantee him dominance and efficiency on the battlefield while being equipped with all the tools and features required by its mission.


The problem: Musculoskeletal injuries

Activities involving load-carriage are one of the major causes of musculoskeletal injuries for soldiers. When carried on long distances, the weight coming from soldier's equipment, backpack and ballistic plates can cause various injuries that affects at different level the efficiency of the soldier.

In addition, heavy loads entail an increase in energetic cost of locomotion (metabolic expenditure) for the dismounted soldier, which in turn causes a premature exhaustion. Increase in soldier fatigue has been proven to reduce cognitive functions (reduced efficiency of the soldier in hostile environment) and to raise the risk of injuries, therefore load carriage is responsible for several lesions amongst the military population.

Most common injuries pertaining to load carriage generally affect the legs joints, the musculoskeletal system and the skin. Notably, blisters, lower back pain, metatarsalgia, bone fractures, knee pain and rucksack palsy were observed on many soldiers following intense load carriage sessions.


Mawashi's solution: load-bearing exoskeleton

The UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton fulfils this imperative need to increase soldiers' protection against injuries that strongly hamper their capacity in theater of operation.With a complex exoskeleton structure made of high strength titanium, the UPRISE® is perfectly adapted to the human body. Through its innovative and ultralight design, this exoskeleton achieve an unparalleled level of freedom of movement.

With a minimal degree of resistance to movement, the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton allows for all the movements involved during tactical maneuvers as well as other tasks required by dismounted soldiers and Special Forces operators. Its ruggedized and unique frame transfers the load carried by warfighter's shoulders down to the ground.

Mawashi's UPRISE® patented exoskeleton technology consists of:

  • Flexible spine based on the human anatomy

  • Sliding belt for waist rotational degree of freedom

  • Fully articulated and ergonomic legs


Patented technology: KEY FEATURES

The key features of the UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton are:

  • Advanced ergonomics providing an unparalleled level of freedom of movement

  • 50-80% load transfer capacity to the ground under static and dynamic conditions

  • Up to 25% reduction in the energy cost of locomotion (metabolic expenditure)

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): 3D scans have shown a decrease in the compression of knee cartilage with the UPRISE® passive load-bearing exoskeleton

  • Ultralight, unpowered and non-motorized system providing constant assistance with no limitation on mission duration

  • Titanium exoskeleton structure with high strength-to-weight ratio

  • Reduces musculoskeletal stress when soldiers carry heavy body-borne loads

  • Reduces discomfort related to carriage of heavy body-borne loads

  • Provides a high degree of kinematic compatibility with the user

  • Does not alter significantly physiological parameters during gait

  • Does not alter significantly the soldier's strategies during execution of primary and secondary operational tasks



Potential benefits of the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton for the warfighter include:

  • Improved performance in soldier system capability areas (mobility, lethality, survivability, sustainability and C4I)

  • Increased endurance

  • Increased situational awareness

  • Increased combat effectiveness

  • Decreased musculoskeletal injuries

  • Decreased metabolic expenditure

  • Decreased fatigue

  • Decreased discomfort


POTENTIAL Benefits for the Armed Forces

Potential direct and indirect benefits for Armed Forces related to the use of the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton include:

  • Superiority and dominance on the modern battlefield

  • Technological advantage over near-peer competitors and threats against national interests

  • Enhanced operational readiness

  • Decreased medical costs

  • Decreased rehabilitation costs

  • Decreased deployment costs


CLICK HERE to download the UPRISE® Technology Overview document


Singapore Army trials Mawashi's UPRISE® titanium Exoskeleton designed to reduce load on soldiers

2020-07 | The Singapore Army is trialling Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton designed to reduce the stress on soldiers carrying heavy loads.

In the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day 2020 video released on July 1st, a clip captioned 'Exoskeleton Trial' shows a soldier walking on a treadmill in what appears to be a stress test. He is wearing full combat gear on top of the titanium exoskeleton, including helmet, rifle, field pack and load-bearing vest.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) confirmed that the army is studying the use of an exoskeleton to improve soldier performance: "The Singapore Army is constantly looking for ways to enhance the performance of our soldiers, and the exoskeleton is one such example that the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance (CESP) is studying." The CESP, set up in 2017, helps to develop the full potential of soldiers in areas like fitness and nutrition, pre-habilitation and rehabilitation, resilience and soldier systems.

The UPRISE® is expected to be distributed in the Singapore Army to specialized units that do heavy lifting over long distances, notably anti-tank infantry and special forces operators.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of Channel News Asia

CLICK HERE to view the 'Exoskeleton Trial' clip in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day 2020 video



Investigating the change in energy expenditure before and after familiarization with a passive load-bearing exoskeleton: A case series

2020-02 | Scientific Poster presentation by Mr. Gabriel Diamond-Ouellette, M.Sc., Biomechanical Kinesiologist and Ph.D. Student at Laval University, at the 5th International Congress on Soldiers' Physical Performance (ICSPP2020) that was held on 11-14 February 2020 in Quebec City.

This poster presents results from the second phase of a 3-year collaborative research agreement between Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et en intégration sociale (CIRRIS) (Laval University), and Mawashi Science & Technology.

This study supports the importance of familiarization periods upon provision of a load-bearing exoskeleton to minimize the energetic cost (EC) of locomotion (cost of transport) with both for expert and naïve users. Integrating a familiarization period can optimize use of a new device and permit the user to enhance efficient coordination patterns during walking. Given the variability among walking speeds with and without the exoskeleton, evaluations should consider individual users and the exoskeleton as one system.

This study concludes that with adequate familiarization, exoskeletons can reduce the energetic cost of locomotion during walking with loads between 26lb and 84lb (12-38Kg).

CLICK HERE to view the Scientific Poster in PDF format


Mawashi's UPRISE® EXOSKELETON featured in the 2019 Bastille Day Military Parade in Paris, France

2019-07 | Mawashi Science & Techology was invited by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces to demonstrate its UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton during the Bastille Day Military Parade on July 14, 2019 on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

This event took place  in front of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and his guests of honor, the heads of state of the following European countries: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Spain and The United Kingdom.

In 2019, the theme of Defense Innovation was integrated into the national day of July 14 during the initial animation on the Place de la Concorde in the morning, as well as for the public relations operation in the afternoon, on the esplanade des Invalides.

Innovation, one of the four axes set by the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law, is a major challenge for the Ministry of the Armed Forces. Its ambitions are illustrated through the Defense Innovation Policy Document (DOID), produced by the Defense Innovation Agency, in conjunction with the armed forces, directorates and services.

Of the 4,299 soldiers, 196 vehicles, 67 airplanes, 40 helicopters and 237 horses that paraded that day, the first two individuals were Mawashi's test operators wearing the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton.

CLICK HERE to view the video of the military parade's first segment on Defense innovation which highlights Mawashi's UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton



Presentation of the UPRISE® exoskeleton during a Live Interview on the TV Show Salut Bonjour (TVA Network)

2018-11 | The dream of an exoskeleton which could help soldiers carry heavy loads without getting injured is approaching, and it is a Canadian company from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Mawashi Science & Technology, which is in pole position of a market evaluated at "billions and billions of dollars".

Live interview on November 14th, 2018 on Salut Bonjour, a Quebec daily morning TV show broadcasted on the TVA network since 1990.

"A third of soldiers evacuated from Afghanistan and Irak had not suffered combat injuries. Rather, they had suffered damage, particularly to the back, due to the excessive weight placed on their shoulders. It costs the U.S. military $500M a year to care for soldiers injured because they were carrying too much weight", said Alain Bujold, chief executive officer and chief technology officer at Mawashi. With years of specialization in research and engineering for “everything that goes on the human body”, Mawashi took a closer look at exoskeletons in 2013.

CLICK HERE to view the full interview video (in French) on the website of the TV show Salut Bonjour


Canadian soldiers test Mawashi's UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton during the 2018 Contested Urban Environment Experiment in Montreal

2018-09 | Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldiers conduct user trials with Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton during the 2018 Contested Urban Environment (CUE 18) Experiment in the streets of Montreal.

The Contested Urban Environment 2018 experiment (CUE 18) is a five-nation cooperative defence science and technology experiment taking place between September 10 and 21, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.

The first Contested Urban Environment experiment took place in November 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. Two additional experiments are being planned for 2019 (US) and 2020 (UK). CUE experiments support Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, by helping achieve excellence across the full spectrum of military operations, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to peacekeeping or combat.

CUE 18 aims to investigate new and emerging technologies that could improve the effectiveness of military personnel operating in complex urban environments while reducing risk to both military forces and civilians. The experiment is part of a multi-year program that operates under the auspices of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), which brings together the defence science communities of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Led by the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence and Research Development Canada (DRDC), CUE 18 will involve over 250 participants including defence researchers from the participating nations as well as military personnel from the 2nd Canadian Division.

The Canadian Army exploits DRDC science and technology (S&T) to anticipate evolving threats and support the development of its future capabilities. DRDC aims to enable the Canadian Army’s soldiers and enhance the capabilities of their platforms in order to conduct operations in complex and hostile environments.

The Soldier program aims to enhance soldier operational effectiveness by increasing protection, situational awareness, weapons effects, mobility, self-sufficiency and resilience while limiting physical and cognitive soldier burden, within an integrated, human-centric soldier system.

VIDEO: Canadian military scientists test new equipement on Montreal streets

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2018 Contested Urban Environment Experiment (CUE 18)


NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield Project

2017-2019 | Successful user trials of Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton under the bomb suit worn by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians for EOD/IEDD/C-IED applications.

The overall aim of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies. Specific objectives included: Organizing demonstrations, improving technology awareness to demystify the exoskeleton technology, identify potential interoperability and standardization lines of development, creating an open dialog in the NATO military and industrial community, and developing a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) of exoskeletons in the battlefield.

Led by the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center of Excellence (EOD COE), the project lasted over a period of 2 years, from 2017 to 2019. It included 5 workshops and 2 extensive user trial sessions supervised by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMED COE).

The project was financed by NATO's Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT POW), and was run in cooperation with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA). Participant nations included Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the United Kingdom and the United States.



1st NATO Exoskeleton Workshop, 14-15 November 2017, Trenčín, Slovakia

The initial workshop held in Trenčín, Slovakia, set the general framework to draft the NATO Minimum Military Requirements (MMR) for Exoskeletons in support of EOD operators and highlighted the initial requirements and issues for their integration in EOD operations.


2nd NATO Exoskeleton Workshop, 6-8 March 2018, Military Base Maj Housiau Quartier Peutie, Vilvoorde, Belgium

The aim of the 2nd workshop was to investigate and prove how the Exoskeleton Technology currently available in the market may apply direct assistance to the EOD operations and how it can support and enhance the EOD team mobility, endurance, precision on target and increase the payload capacity. During the workshop, MMRs were reviewed and two live trials were executed, when EOD teams conducted IEDD and CMD action using Exoskeleton Technologies. This successful event ended at the NATO Headquarters (HQ), where the concept of the project as well as current achievements were presented during the meeting of National Armament Directors Representatives (NADREP).


3rd NATO Exoskeleton Workshop, 17-19 October 2018, held within the Future Forces Forum (FFF), Prague, Czech Republic

The aim of the 3rd IEB workshop was to review the MMRs, discuss the results of the live demonstrations carried out in Belgium, conduct further demos, develop an initial draft of CONOPS, and review the Project Roadmap. A series of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic took the floor.


4th NATO Exoskeleton Workshop, 15-17 April 2019, Trenčín, Slovakia

The 4th IEB workshop was divided into two parts: User trials of Exoskeletons and the writing session. During the trials three (3) exoskeleton prototypes were tested in the experimental/trial area: Mawashi from Canada, Plica from Bulgaria and MechLab from Italy.


5th NATO Exoskeleton Workshop, 17-19 September 2019, Trenčín, Slovakia

The focus of this last workshop was to finalize the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document relating to exoskeleton technologies currently available on the market.


Australia's Diggerworks studies Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton

2017-08 | The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Diggerworks division is undertaking a feasibility study to determine the potential utility of a passive exoskeleton for ADF dismounted close combatants.

The intended purpose of the system is to transfer the weight burden of the soldiers’ carried equipment directly to the ground, helping the dismounted soldier arrive at their destination less fatigued and ready for battle.

As part of the exoskeleton trial, participants were fitted with a surrogate suit made of 3D printed plastic. The surrogate suit was fitted to ensure measurements were correct prior to manufacturing titanium suits.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of Soldier Systems Daily


CIVILIAN APPLICATIONS: Click here to learn more about Mawashi's Quasi-Passive Exoskeleton with Upper Limb Actuation System