New DARPA testing Battery Powered Exo-Suit for soldiers

We have always marveled at what it would be like to wear an actual exo-suit that could give us super strength or something of that nature.  Even though we may not be there yet we are starting to make steps closer to that goal.  DARPA is now testing its version of an Exo-suit.  Starting out this is not the kind of exo-suit that you would normally think about.  this is a soft light weight that takes on some of the weight that the soldiers on a daily basis during their long patrols.

This suit uses a system of powered cables to provide mechanical assistance in order to make carrying heavy loads easier and less stressful on the muscles.  As they move the cables use a natural  carefully  timed pulling forces in order to make it easier on the user.

Now In my opinion this has a variety of pros and cons that can affect our soldiers.  In one way that it can affect troops in a bad way is, what would happen if one of these cables broke in the field during a fire fight or something.  Would their movement be impaired to the point where thy would be stuck in a position that has been compromised.  Also the battery life what happens when the battery runs out, does the mechanism lock up.  Soldiers are sometimes out doing operations for a very long time and might not have an extra battery or something to charge it up.  On the other had there are a lot of pros to this kind of equipment.  Even if we can’t use it in the field what about for those veterans who have been injured and need assistance with walking, maybe it can be modified to help them.  In the video it can help the soldiers help prevent injury, that is also a good thing.

In conclusion I think that it is a great start but I don’t think that the tech is rugged enough to survive in the field as of yet.  But there may be some other applications that it can be used for and still be a major accomplishment.  Below is the link to an article and video that helps explain the suit in a little more detail.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/robotics/military-robots/darpa-tests-batterypowered-exoskeletons-on-real-soldiers

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