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January 05, 2007

Friday WarPorn: FutureWarrior Stuff

... little of which I believe will go very much further than articles like this.

Still, there are some things I buy.

n the near term, other advances include enhancements to equipment that already seems futuristic, such as the Pathfinder Raven, a roughly 4-pound robot plane with a wingspan of roughly 54 inches—smaller than an average seagull's.Soldiers launch it by hand. It essentially lands via controlled crashes, designed to fall apart into pieces that are easily put back together.

The current version of this robot plane, called Raven A and loaded with a visible-light and infrared camera to deliver imagery to soldiers on the ground in real-time, has already found use in Afghanistan and Iraq. The next version, Raven B, will add digital zoom, allowing soldiers to spy on enemies from afar.


DARPA is also helping to develop a radar scope the size of a large walkie-talkie that helps soldiers see through walls to locate targets.

The researchers are also working to develop a way for untrained soldiers to use sound waves to stop internal bleeding in combat zones. Internal bleeding requires professional treatment, and the time delay it takes to evacuate someone to a surgical facility can readily lead to death or amputation. The idea is to create a blanket or cuff that, once placed over the injured area, uses ultrasound to spot the internal wound. Afterward, high-powered ultrasound focused on the wound can cauterize it.

So that's what McCoy is always doing on Star Trek.

I don't buy this, but it's cool to pretend:

For the longer term, the government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is helping to develop head-to-toe body armor that also enhances the strength, endurance and speed of soldiers using combustion engine-driven hydraulics that behave as artificial muscles. The idea behind these "exoskeletons" is to help a lone armored soldier carry a weapon that would normally take a crew to operate, such as a machine gun. DARPA will deliver prototype exoskeletons to the U.S. Army for tests in 2008.

And definitely not this:

The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) at MIT is developing sensors integrated into battlesuits to detect chemical and biological weapons, as well as countermeasures against those threats when encountered. They are also working to integrate automated medical care into battlesuits, including splinting bones and CPR, and exploring the possibility of delivering medications such as vasopressin that will help minimize the risk of blood loss and hemorrhagic shock in injured soldiers.

ISN research may also lead to improved armor, perhaps made of a network of microscopic trusses, miniature versions of the triangular scaffolds used to support bridges and skyscrapers. Armor made from several layers of these micro-trusses should absorb energy from bullets, shrapnel or blast waves by deforming in a way similar to crumple zones in cars.

Thanks to JackM.

Okay... Yes, there is the HAL exoskeleton which you can already buy for $50,000.

But... I don't know. Do people really have full range of motion and scrambling/running ability in these things, or are they just able to walk more or less straight, slowly, while carrying double their unassisted load?

I think the armor that performs basic surgery on you is just silly. The list of inventions combining multiple unrelated functions is long; the list of inventions combining multiple unrelated functions which have actually been used extensively in real life is rather shorter.

Sure, they made sword/pistol combos, knife/pistol combos, shield/pistol combos. Little more than historical curiosities.

Thanks to Ken.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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