The soldiers whether he or she is in a dismounted infantry or a mission support unit, is physically overburdened. This increases fatigue, reduces mobility and manoeuvrability, and increases the probability of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries, ultimately weakening mission effectiveness and readiness. Exoskeletons, designed to improve strength, endurance, and ergonomics while maintaining user safety and reducing physical injury risk during various load tasks is a promising approach to enable Soldiers to maintain peak performance longer. For example, the Army views "exoskeletons" as a capability to enable "Soldier Lethality", which is among the Army's top six Modernization Priorities. The DoD seeks innovative exoskeleton approaches to improve Warfighter performance during mobility over uneven terrain, ergonomically challenging load tasks (awkward postures, long duration overhead work), heavy lifting, other repetitive logistics and sustainment load tasks. Effective exoskeleton systems demonstrate the principles of user safety, comfort, ease of use, integration with user clothing and individual mission equipment, energy efficiency to enable long operating durations (and in some cases, fully passive systems), and low system costs. A variety of exoskeleton systems are expected to be needed to meet DoD needs, including, but not limited to, the following types: 1. Infantry - High mobility type capabilities focused on mobility augmentation, endurance augmentation, and injury risk reduction. Enhances the Warfighters' ability to "Shoot, Move, Communicate, Protect, and Sustain" by allowing Warfighters to perform tasks and reach their destination faster with greater lethality, efficiency, and with greater physical and cognitive reserves throughout a mission. 2. Logistics/sustainment/mission support - Low or medium mobility type capabilities focused on strength and productivity augmentation and injury risk reduction during lifting, loading, unloading, and transporting tasks. May require compatibility with tools or other common DoD Service load interfaces. a. Light Tasks - Assists lightweight but ergonomically challenging tasks. b. Medium Lift and Carry - Makes individual Warfighter lifting tasks safer and more effective. c. Heavy Lift and Carry - Exoskeleton enables multi-person load handling tasks to be carried out with a single person (i.e. human forklift) safely. Serves as a force multiplier, creating a smaller force with greater capabilities. 3. Specialized Capability Platform - Medium mobility type capabilities to enable and reduce the physical work effort of specific application sets (e.g. Situational Awareness, Lethality, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and other forms of up-armor, and chemical & biological protection). Specific Warfighter tasks of interest include, but are not limited to, the following: A. Conduct tactical movement with approach march load of 99-136 lbs B. While wearing fighting load (75-90 lbs) walk in crouched posture, climbing stairs and crawling in a confined space C. While wearing fighting load (75-90 lbs) conduct bounding rushes (start prone, 3-5 second dash, back down to prone) D. Conduct up-armored door breach and close quarter battle maneuvers E. Conduct unit resupply of Logistics Package (LOGPAC) by loading and unloading items from Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) F. Conduct aircraft and/or vehicle maintenance tasks G. Harden / improve a fighting position H. Lift and transport (e.g. fireman's carry) 270 lb casualty a distance of 45 ft I. Pry / remove heavy (100+ lb) obstructions to gain access to pinned-down 270 lb casualty and drag a 270 lb casualty a distance of 45 ft to casualty collection point. Exoskeletons proposed must align with at least 1 of the 5 exoskeleton system types above (1, 2a, 2b, 2c, or 3), outline which of the 9 tasks Warfighter tasks above are achievable, be at a minimum Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of "4" (TRL Descriptions: https://www.acq.osd.mil/chieftechnologist/publications/docs/TRA2011.pdf, and provide a self-assessment of TRL with supporting data. In addition, proposers shall outline system availability for a demonstration in the late summer 2018 timeframe. Proposed systems will also be compared with the conventional solutions in the field and those in development to determine their technical and operational viability. All interested firms, regardless of size are encouraged to submit a Concept Paper to NSRDEC in accordance with NSRDEC Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Solicitation Number W911QY-15-R-0016, under topic # C16Future Warrior Technology Integration, which can be found at http://www3.natick.army.mil/(S(hy4ind3xtp3qrnv15nlc4dr1))/NSRDEC-Broad-Agency-Announcement.aspx. Offerors shall submit concept papers that are consistent with the intent of the BAA. Instructions for the submission of concept papers are contained in BAA Topic # C16. "Future Warrior Technology Integration." Proprietary information will not be disclosed outside the U.S. Government. Nothing shall be construed herein or through the RFI process to commit or obligate the Government to further action as a result of this RFI. Firms responding to this RFI shall bear all risk and expense of any resources used to provide the requested information, and all information submitted in response to this request shall become the property of the Government, and will not be returned to the submitter.