Exoskeletons? Bionic Man?

  1. The human body is unsurpassed in the complexity of its design, performance and efficiency, but there are definite limitations to what we can achieve with a frame that's around 6ft high - we can only carry so much weight, jump so far or run so fast before we reach our physical boundary. Machines that overcome these limitations have been with us for centuries, but we are only beginning to explore the possibilities of augmentation - extending our existing capabilities through wearable robot exoskeletons to create superhuman strength, speed and stamina.

    In a push to turn the science fiction of exoskeletons - like the one used by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens - into a military reality and deliver the advantages of such technology to soldiers in combat environments, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is funding a US$50 million project known as "Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation".

    The scope of the program includes the development of actively controlled exoskeletons that not only increase strength and speed, but enable larger weapons to be carried, provide a higher level of protection from enemy fire or chemical attack, allow wearers to stay active longer and carry more food, ammunition and field supplies. Exoskeletons may eventually even be programmed to bring injured soldiers back to base by themselves.

    Sigourney Weaver's "Aliens" my a**.

    Somebody forgot about Robert Anson Heinlein's "Starship Troopers"!
  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   danfif

    Along these same lines, you should pick up a copy of "The Tin Man" by Dale Brown. Dale, IMO is one of the best fiction writers out there, and he describes/writes about the same "Exoskeletons" as you are talking about.

    This is a very interesting concept, and one that has been around for a while.

    Hey, maybe they can develope one for us ER junkies!

    Take Care,