Video: Bionic exoskeletons to let U.S. troops kick ass in ways yet undreamed of

posted at 8:44 pm on November 25, 2007 by Allahpundit

I want Osama to wake up someday to the sight of a squad of these things stomping towards him in the dark. Give ’em all pairs of glowing red goggles and you’re set for a pants-wetting Terminator-esque climax. Although for full effect, they’d need to somehow replicate the menacing metallic thud of the footsteps. These ones look like they tread pretty lightly.

Actually, this get-up recalls a different sci-fi classic, doesn’t it? No matter. We’re taking the best elements of each and building the ultimate bad-ass robo-soldier. Next up: The shoulder-mounted laser cannon.

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Starship Troopers!

BJ* on November 25, 2007 at 8:47 PM

Murtha wants to cut their funding………

Janos Hunyadi on November 25, 2007 at 8:47 PM

OMG I’m having multiple geekgasms!

Someone put a pack of smokes beside me. I’m a bit preoccupied with the Technoporn.

Mindcrime on November 25, 2007 at 8:54 PM

awesome!

Guardian on November 25, 2007 at 8:55 PM

I know what I want for christmas.

Mofugger on November 25, 2007 at 8:58 PM

Golly — if Hillary becomes President, perhaps she can sell that technology to the Chinese and one-up her turd of a husband…

D2Boston on November 25, 2007 at 8:58 PM

As Ash would say, “Groovy!”

steveegg on November 25, 2007 at 8:59 PM

I have seen the future, and it ain’t pretty.

see-dubya on November 25, 2007 at 8:59 PM

I want Osama to wake up someday to the sight of a squad of these things stomping towards him in the dark. Give ‘em all pairs of glowing red goggles and you’re set for a pants-wetting Terminator-esque climax.

Nice, oh and then just before you blast OBL’s A** amd send him to meet Allah be sure to say to him, YOU’RE TERMINATED FUC**R!!!!

That would be a dream come true!

Liberty or Death on November 25, 2007 at 9:00 PM

I want Osama to wake up someday to the sight of a squad of these things stomping towards him in the dark. Give ‘em all pairs of glowing red goggles and you’re set for a pants-wetting Terminator-esque climax.

Nice, oh and then just before you blast OBL’s A** and send him to meet Allah be sure to say to him, YOU’RE TERMINATED FUC**R!!!!

Ooops, need to remember to preview…aaarrgggh!

Liberty or Death on November 25, 2007 at 9:01 PM

Yah, that’s pretty cool. . . a step away from storm troopers. I have always wondered if you could create something like that to help me dunk.

I’ve imagined shoes with platforms and springs as well as something that works with the knee. Get me an exoskeleton that will give me some ups so that I can get into the NBA!.

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2007 at 9:02 PM

OH MY GAWD! I FRAKKIN’ LOVE IT!

The Sci-Fi movie it reminds me of is the Kurt Russell flop “Soldier”.

What this thing needs is a Metal Storm weapon attached … but, since Metal Storm is an Aussie company, and the lefties just won the election there, it may never happen.

LoD, yeah, great line from a great classic. Or, imagine an American soldier rescuing a hostage in this and say “Come with me if you wanna live.”

Not sure I like the whole ‘autonomous’ idea though … did these guys even SEE Terminator???

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 9:06 PM

Very nice.

Griz on November 25, 2007 at 9:07 PM

For a sci-fi reference, check out the game Crysis. The entire game is built around a exo-suit like this from the near future.

modnar on November 25, 2007 at 9:10 PM

Next up: Rock ’em Sock ’em robots!

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 9:11 PM

I always knew, from the moment I first saw it in that movie, that “exoskeleton” suit would be a reality.

JetBoy on November 25, 2007 at 9:12 PM

BJ, that was my first thought too. Put an infantryman in one of those, attach the latest ceramic armor, with fabric armor for the joints, give him an automatic rifle firing something much more powerful than 5.56 mm, with laser & infrared sights…and you’ve got a REALLY bad-ass warrior. A Jihadi’s nightmare!
.
The American Soldier and Marine of a few decades from now will be an incredibly relentless, tireless, deadly warrior.
.
Yesterday, “Starship Troopers” was science fiction; tomorrow it will be reality.

DavePa on November 25, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Advancements in body armor mean more protection for less weight, and now we have very effective non-powered body armor.

So if they can make this system work, you get “power armor” that will be virtually impervious to small arms and shrapnel, and small/mobile enough to avoid heavier weapons. You get vastly improved endurance that is limited only by the power supply of the suit.

That seems to be the problem. It looks like the two things they really need to work out are:

1. Designing the exoskeleton so that it can hug the body. The models shown, for good reason, sit farther away and move differently. That will not work with armor. You can’t have all the mechanical/electrical components exposed.

2. Getting a small enough, light enough, strong enough power source. You can’t use regular batteries and you cant run around with a cord sticking out of your back. Short of breakthroughs in battery/engine technology I don’t see this happening. This is huge because the amount of strength/weight and the endurance are both limited by the power source.

Of course when the first powered armor gets developed, it will probably be too expensive, so if anything you’ll see it used by special forces for a while, but then again, it will also have to be extremely reliable before they will touch it.

kaltes on November 25, 2007 at 9:19 PM

This thing needs a jetpack, invisability and a Predator-like shoulder mounted weapon … or, or a mini gatling gun on the fore arm and then it transforms into a motorcycle! Man, I feel a little light headed, gotta go lie down for a while …

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 9:20 PM

Well, if microsoft makes the software for it the blue screen of death will have a whole new meaning.

boomer on November 25, 2007 at 9:32 PM

Oh noooo!!! Don’t you see how horrible this is? It’s nothing more than the first step in our assimilation by the Borg! Next come those horrid implants. Resistance is futile!

Bigfoot on November 25, 2007 at 9:33 PM

The other big issue that I can see is ground pressure… the armor isn’t going to be much good if it can be defeated by a field of mud.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on November 25, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Its Matrix Revolutions, load up two big ass Gatling Cannons and this baby will destroy anything near it. I might have an orgasm from all hte thoughts of destruction this thing can perform.

On a side note this would also be a great thing for any number of other protessions

Defector01 on November 25, 2007 at 9:37 PM

Oh, I gotta get me one of those!

stonemeister on November 25, 2007 at 9:37 PM

This thing needs a jetpack, invisability and a Predator-like shoulder mounted weapon … or, or a mini gatling gun on the fore arm and then it transforms into a motorcycle! Man, I feel a little light headed, gotta go lie down for a while …

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 9:20 PM

Would sir care for a palate cleanser?

Mindcrime on November 25, 2007 at 9:41 PM

Starship trooper. The book.

berlins on November 25, 2007 at 9:45 PM

“Shines the name, shines the name of Roger Young!” Wherever he is Heinlein is smiling.

Oldnuke on November 25, 2007 at 9:49 PM

armor isn’t going to be much good if it can be defeated by a field of mud.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog

Hopefully they already thought of that, and rain and water short circuiting anything electrical. But, thanks be to Allah, bin Laden isn’t hiding out in a place known for regular rainfall or mud.

El Guapo on November 25, 2007 at 9:50 PM

Would sir care for a palate cleanser?

Mindcrime on November 25, 2007 at 9:41 PM

OMG, I remember that lame show, now that show was CRAPTASTIC in every sense of the word!!!

Thanks for the reminder Mindcrime, but some things are best left in the dust bin of history, and this show should not only be left in the dust bin of history, it should be burned first so no one ever sees it again!!

UGH, that was painful!!!

Liberty or Death on November 25, 2007 at 9:58 PM

Starship Troopers and Ender’s Game become reality.

m1a1usmc on November 25, 2007 at 10:01 PM

MindCrime, what was that, Power Ranger dykes on Bykes??? I could only make it through about a minute of it! haha

I’m with you, LoD, burn all evidence! Quick, somebody see if Mrs. Klinton will let us use her shredder!

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 10:02 PM

Murtha wants to cut their funding………

Janos Hunyadi on November 25, 2007 at 8:47 PM

…unless it gets built in his backyard.

91Veteran on November 25, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Cherry 2000

Kini on November 25, 2007 at 10:06 PM

Quick, somebody see if Mrs. Klinton will let us use her shredder!

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 10:02 PM

LMAO…I heard Hillary had to buy a new shredder after Slick Willy jammed it up trying to shred Monica’s dress!!

Liberty or Death on November 25, 2007 at 10:14 PM

Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series & John Ringo’s Posleen series had ’em too.

Powered armor is an old concept, but that does not diminish the wonder of this thing. :-)

TwinkietheKid on November 25, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Bababa bad, bad to the bone!

Kini, I’m still laughing at the Cherry 2000 comment!

Zorro on November 25, 2007 at 10:17 PM

DOOOOD! This is going to be like LARPing Crysis!

liquidflorian on November 25, 2007 at 10:22 PM

You can’t use regular batteries and you cant run around with a cord sticking out of your back.

kaltes on November 25, 2007 at 9:19 PM

No, no, you’re just tethered to the mothership.

TexasDan on November 25, 2007 at 10:23 PM

Gimme! Gawd I love my country!

frreal on November 25, 2007 at 10:24 PM

“Gawd I love my country!” – frreal

Yeah, ain’t it the greatest! We put a man on the Moon. We build the SR-71. We just RETIRED the F-14! Now we’re gonna retire the F-117! Imagine that! A plane several decades into the future, but now obsolete because of the F-22 and F-35. Amazing!

Tony737 on November 25, 2007 at 10:42 PM

Looks like a one-man, all-purpose Jaws of Life.

And let’s not add AI.

Because the First Law of Actual Intelligence is:

Never engineer your own replacement.

profitsbeard on November 25, 2007 at 10:44 PM

Robert Heinlein is smiling.

Frantic Freddie on November 25, 2007 at 10:44 PM

It’s nothing until it gets a frikkin’ laser on its head!

Faith1 on November 25, 2007 at 10:45 PM

I want Osama to wake up someday to the sight of a squad of these things stomping towards him in the dark. Give ‘em all pairs of glowing red goggles and you’re set for a pants-wetting Terminator-esque climax.

No. Red dot that goes from side-to-side. And when the soldier steps out of the exoskeleton and it becomes autonomous, the robot replies to all orders with a “By Your Command“.

TheEJS on November 25, 2007 at 11:05 PM

Starship Troopers!

BJ* on November 25, 2007 at 8:47 PM

That was my thought too! :D

Ortzinator on November 25, 2007 at 11:08 PM

Video: Bionic exoskeletons to let U.S. troops kick ass in ways yet undreamed of

HAHA!!

Dude that is so funny. The intro paragraph made me laugh as well.

Theworldisnotenough on November 25, 2007 at 11:27 PM

Come on guys! Do you not know about the Centurions?

Egfrow on November 25, 2007 at 11:32 PM

Centurions Episode 1.

Egfrow on November 25, 2007 at 11:40 PM

Iron Man!

Mojave Mark on November 25, 2007 at 11:48 PM

One question: When are they coming out with the model that has a Vulcan chaingun?

Weebork on November 25, 2007 at 11:55 PM

Mindcrime on November 25, 2007 at 9:41 PM
haha. That was great, thanks.

Spirit of 1776 on November 25, 2007 at 11:58 PM

Someday we’ll have guys running around like Spartan units in Halo. Sweet.

Bad Candy on November 26, 2007 at 12:04 AM

Weebork, sorry, I don’t mean to nitpick, but the Vulcan is a rotary Gatling gun, it’s not a chain gun. A mini version mounted on the fore arm is my geek fantasy.

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 12:10 AM

Chaingun is synonymous with Gatling gun as is a Minigun. (I have no idea what is so “mini” about it!)

:)

link

Weebork on November 26, 2007 at 12:21 AM

Starship Troopers are superior to Centurions because of two main reasons

a) They carry tactical nukes

b) They actually kill the bad guys.

(Contrary to the movie with the same title, the Starship Troopers were bad a**ses who utilized efficient weapons against the bugs rather than fancy-shmancy .223 rifles in the movie. Also, the book is about 10% fighting and 90% politics.)

As an end note, I miss the little informative stuff at the end of cartoons like they used to for shows like Centurions and G.I. Joe.

Weebork on November 26, 2007 at 12:26 AM

Key here will be making it have the ability to crawl…

If you can’t hug the cover in a modern engagement your toast…

Great thing will be the ability to carry more equipment.

One reason we still use the underpowered crappy M-16 is the weight factor… this takes that out of the equation…

Romeo13 on November 26, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Weebork, when you say chain gun, I think of the one mounted on the Apache, sorry for the confusion.

Starship Troopers were [email protected] next to the U.S. Marines of “Space: Above and Beyond”.

Centurions? I must’ve missed that one.

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 12:31 AM

I just watched the “Boot Camp” video of the Space: Above and Beyond with “the Gunny”. Hilarious!

Weebork on November 26, 2007 at 12:36 AM

Holy crap! I just watched that too! That scene is what drew me to the show! Too bad they cancelled it. Gunney rules! I love him on Mail Call. Watch the one titled “Angry Angel”, it’s pretty funny too.

And as for chain gun, I guess you meant chain fed ammo, in which case you’re correct and I recind my previous nitpick :-)

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 12:41 AM

Back when I was a soldier we only got one scratchy green pair of wool socks a week, AND WE LIKED IT!

tlynch001 on November 26, 2007 at 12:43 AM

Tony Stark is a pimp.

Jim Treacher on November 26, 2007 at 12:47 AM

Tony737,

No problem. Without it, I would never had known about the “Boot Camp” episode!

Yes, needless to say, a firearm that delivers massive quantities of hot projectiles at a desired target! (Metal Storm would work well too)

Such a few, short hours left until the end of the holiday weekend! :(

Weebork on November 26, 2007 at 12:48 AM

You’re all missing it.

Halo Mijolnr Armor!

Mazztek on November 26, 2007 at 12:56 AM

“(Metal Storm…” – Weebork

Weebork, we sure do think alike, check out my post at 9:06 pm regarding Metal Storm, which, on the battle suit, or a built in sniper scope with night vision / infra red would make any soldier drool.

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 12:57 AM

So here’s a question, what will most likely come first in actual field use: genetically enhanced soldiers or these exoskeleton enhanced soldiers? I haven’t seen anything lately by the military industrial complex regarding genetic discoveries or breakthroughs so I’m guessing this might be ahead.

CTDeLude on November 26, 2007 at 1:55 AM

And one day . . J T Marsh.

– The Cat

MirCat on November 26, 2007 at 3:49 AM

GREAT HEINLEIN’S GHOST!!!

fusionaddict on November 26, 2007 at 5:22 AM

It’s fergalicious.

I’ve wanted one of those since the Thing lost his powers and Reed Richards built one for him.

saint kansas on November 26, 2007 at 5:35 AM

I, for one, welcome our exoskeleton overlords.

eforhan on November 26, 2007 at 6:55 AM

Hopefully these will not be manufactured in China.

I would like to see a few hundred given to Israel for Chanukah and see what they come up with for everyday usage.

Hening on November 26, 2007 at 7:47 AM

The author Dale Brown uses exoskeleton technology for his characters and has been for a couple of years. Good reading!!

ultracon on November 26, 2007 at 8:12 AM

Star ship trooperish y’all mean. Unless their is a revolt in 2016 when Madame President Hilary refuses to leave the office and the milatary ousts her, then reinstates the constitution with one minor change, in order to vote you have had to have served. The central theme in Starship troopers was that only a person that is willing to risk all for the state should have the right to vote. Considering how things are going now, thats not too bad an idea.

Wyrd on November 26, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Cherry 2000

You’re the one who keeps checking out the only surviving copy!

So, here I am with another game reference. Yes, I have no life beyond my slide into despair: There is a game, just released on multiple platforms called Crysis has a squad of US special forces soldiers equipped with Nano suits (with red goggles) taking on the..North Koreans, after they take over an island where a strange archaeological dig is being conducted.
Your suits powers include speed burst, rechargeable armor, cloak, and strength augmentation (basically you can power jump over people with it, or pick up Nork snipers and throw them off rooftops; it’s very entertaining.) It’s from the same outfit that did Far Cry. Hours of entertainment and very relevant to this article. Ah, those nanites..what would we do without them.

austinnelly on November 26, 2007 at 9:04 AM

But in every soldier’s heart in all the Infantry
Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.

N. O'Brain on November 26, 2007 at 9:13 AM

Skip this stuff… let’s go straight to Gundams.

Hootie on November 26, 2007 at 9:22 AM

My recomendation:

Take your DVD of “Starship Troopers” and burn it.

Go out and buy and read the book.

N. O'Brain on November 26, 2007 at 9:26 AM

Someday we’ll have guys running around like Spartan units in Halo. Sweet.

Bad Candy on November 26, 2007 at 12:04 AM

Someone wanted a Master Chief?

Hootie on November 26, 2007 at 9:27 AM

This is interesting [via wikipedia]:

While powered armor is Starship Troopers’ most famous legacy, its influence extends deep into contemporary warfare. Almost half a century after its publication, Starship Troopers is on the reading lists of the United States Army,[30] the United States Marine Corps,[31][32][33] and the United States Navy.[34] It is the only science fiction novel on the reading list at four of the five United States military academies.

N. O'Brain on November 26, 2007 at 9:28 AM

Space Above and Beyond had a redeeming feature? I only saw the pilot admittedly, but it was so godawful I never wanted to see it ever again

Anyhoo, currently they seem more reminiscent of the Mega-Armored Nobz from Warhammer 40,000, and as much of a technophile I am, the old ‘mouse trap versus the mouse’ analogy does ring a bell.. I suspect currently the soldiers would just like to have the stuff they currently are provided with work properly..

Reaps on November 26, 2007 at 10:02 AM

It’ll like turn up first on flight lines and re-supply areas, loading ammo and missiles onto planes, choppers, tanks and artillery.

Frozen Tex on November 26, 2007 at 10:08 AM

One of the interesting things about this is that it implies they have a really, really big power source in the backpack.

If massive portable power is not a problem, these things could come with rail guns and lasers instead of conventional weapons. And there are a lot of other possibilities.

landlines on November 26, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Reaper, “S;AaB” was a great show. It was a retelling of the Pacific Theater of WW2 and every episode was a history lesson. You can check out some clips on YouTube.

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 10:34 AM

It needs one of these helmets, a GMG on one arm (but one not made by HK) and a 7.62 minigun on the other, assuming the thing can handle the weight of the armor, commo, sensors and ammo too.

I think that we can eliminate crawling if we armor it up enough to be able to shrug small arms. Mobility is more important to our guys anyways. You see very little crawling and lots of leapfroging in the videos coming back from Iraq.

phelps on November 26, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Mobile Infantry, son. Emphasis on the mobile.”
— Starship Troopers

mojo on November 26, 2007 at 10:50 AM

think about how efficient the early models will be at forward fire bases and supply zones. The power supply may be the limiting factor though. depending on how they implement it, once it is gone the armors useless, except as a barricade.

All in all though, any downsides the armor has will be solved through technology. Lets hope it getws the funding. Maybe they should build it in Murtha’s district, he could slide some pork into the r&d.

Wyrd on November 26, 2007 at 10:58 AM

God bless America.

WisCon on November 26, 2007 at 11:12 AM

Questions:
How fast could it run?
How high can it jump
How much damage can it take
How many bad guys can it target at once
Also, can we make it solar powered for the sake of the environment? Batteries are so not pc. (kidding)

redshirt on November 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM

also, its gotta have this

redshirt on November 26, 2007 at 11:23 AM

Am I the only soldier on these boards who thinks we already have too much motion-limiting and heavy armor? This we don’t need. We need lighter armor that gives you a greater range of motion. When I was in Iraq, I chucked the nut protector, neck guard and fortunately was never issued the deltoid shields or extra plating. It is just too much. We need to be more mobile and weigh less.

I can see this being of use in the rear with a couple soldiers in a logistics area that wear them to pull crates, load things etc. and do the work of several soldiers with only one guy.

thomashton on November 26, 2007 at 11:29 AM

Am I the only soldier on these boards who thinks we already have too much motion-limiting and heavy armor? This we don’t need. We need lighter armor that gives you a greater range of motion… It is just too much. We need to be more mobile and weigh less.

thomashton on November 26, 2007 at 11:29 AM

It’s a version one prototype, soldier. You’ll want one when the lab rats make a version that is light and cheap enough for you and everyone in your sqaud.

You’ll have the mobility and range of motion that you have wearing the clothes you have on every morning during PT.
You’ll walk for miles in the mountains without aching legs or feet.
You’ll carry 200lbs without hurting your back.
You’ll be impervious to an armor-piercing 7.62 round fired at close range.
You’ll see through solid rock walls and in the dark.

It’s coming. Oh, it’s coming…

ScottMcC on November 26, 2007 at 11:47 AM

RedShirt, thanks for the link, that was pretty cool. I remember them talkin’ about this when I was in the military way back in the late 80s! This thing would make fighting jihadis like an F-22 fighting a MiG-15.

By the way, are you a Navy Ordy? I was an A.F. Ammo dude.

Tony737 on November 26, 2007 at 12:32 PM