Story 2014-06-17 3NX Military Tech increasingly following sci-fi

Military Tech increasingly following sci-fi

in hardware on (#3NX)
story imageWith upheaval in the Crimea, Iraq, and elsewhere again overwhelming the news, the military and their hardware are again in the forefront of everyone's consciousness. Good time then to see what kind of tech soldiers are using or will soon be using on the battlefield.

Not surprisingly, the tech pioneered by Oculus Rift is extremely interesting to military planners . But as real life mirrors sci-fi and even comic books, it might be a surprise to see the military is now debuting an Iron Man suit to protect its troops .

If the junction of hardware and battle tech interest you, you'll be disappointed to know you just missed a big trade show in Paris where you could come browse the latest and greatest, presumably in the presence of hostile governments planning on using the same equipment against you! Don't worry, there will be others - the military market isn't going to disappear any time soon.
Reply 5 comments

Early development with excess hype (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-17 19:59 (#24X)

This is in very early development and some critical required supporting technologies for it have not yet been created. In fact, a significant part of this is merely research to improve kevlar. The thing that suppossedly makes this suit "Iron man" like is a "powered exoskeleton", which has yet to be developed and I can't find any details about that.

Re: Early development with excess hype (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-17 20:51 (#24Y)

So if we were to cite the daft song harder, better, faster, stronger - they're hoping to get stronger. The kevlar would give them harder. Faster maybe with some extra training to handle increased body speeds, I wonder what that might look like. And better, that question is best left up to the troops.

Re: Early development with excess hype (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-17 21:36 (#251)

Seems like training alone isn't going to lead to 'faster' if you're wearing heavy equipment. These guys need something made of spun spiderweb silk or something, but made out of teflon. They've already got the Batmobile, sort of.

Re: Early development with excess hype (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-17 23:44 (#259)

Sorry, I didn't present my idle thought fully enough. A sometimes seen enhancement to a sci-fi suit is to make a peson faster. Let's say it's helping to move the legs faster? It couldn't be too much faster and even then the body would have to get use to having the faster advantage. How about aiming (hand-eye) speed, seems like a suit could help a person keep a heavier weapon steay.

But then again, nothing more than an idle thoughts. But could the brain and the various body systems keep up with what a suit could provide?

Re: Early development with excess hype (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-19 05:43 (#262)

Here is one of the eternal truths of the infantryman's life: the brass always wants to load you down with more crap, and if you're smart (and you have a platoon sergeant who's not an ass-kisser) you get rid of as much of it as you possibly can as soon as you possibly can. Unfortunately, the REMFs keep shoveling it out just a little faster than you can get rid of it, which is why the total combat load has gone from ~40 lbs in WW2 and Korea, to ~80 lbs back when I was a grunt in the 1980s, to well over 100 lbs today. And I am deeply skeptical that any kind of power assist they come up with is going to make up for the increased weight and complexity.

We already have machines designed for battlefield use to do what human bodies can't: they're called tanks, and after almost a century of development they're pretty good at doing what they're supposed to do. You want more effective infantry? Take away the non-essentials, put the R&D effort into making the rest as light, simple, and durable as possible, and let the grunts do their job.