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Human cybernetic exoskeleton to climb mountain.

This article impressed me. The second link is to the page about the HAL suit itself. Pretty badass IMHO. On top of the features, it LOOKS cool.


  • This is the first step toward getting mechs. Think about that. First, helping people with paralyzation, next, blowing the shit out of the enemy. The military is going to be all over this. In a way, it kinda pisses me off, but then I realize how cool it would be if you could actually have a Gundam.
  • edited May 2006
    I don't think the military would need robotic suits to blow the shit out of an enemy(seeing as they already fulfill that function well). Maybe we could see something like Master Chief(suit wise) soon though?
    Post edited by Ilmarinen on
  • The US military, at least, has been looking into this sort of thing for years. There was a push from DARPA in this direction around 2001, and I've seen references to attempts going back to 1990 with only a brief search.

    I just googled "US military exoskeletons" to get a bunch of links. Here's one that isn't too old and has a nice overview of the state-of-the-art of exoskeleton tech in general:
  • From what it says in the article, the military is capable of creating mechs. Hells yeah!!! I'm goin' into the Army now, just so I can drive them.
  • Watch your back glimp, they aren't bulletproof gundams just yet. Small arms fire or an IED would still take your keister out.
  • Ehhh, the hell with it. Seriously, if you had the chance to control a mech, wouldn't you risk your life at least once just to try it out. If they cover you in bullet proof vesting, cover the machine in bullet proof metal, like adamantium, you'd be set. They just have to come up with something that is fuel efficient and and has a strong enough system to control all the functioning parts.
  • Adamantium isn't real.
  • Right. And if you're going to use a fictional material, don't go for half measures, use scrith.

    Nine out of ten ringworld engineers recommend scrith®.
  • I'm reading the Ringworld Engineers right now ^_^
  • Adamantium isn't real.
    I've been here less than a week so I didn't want a flame war right off the bat but goddamn if you didn't say exactly what I was thinking.
  • Actually, let's try tungsten instead. It's said to be the strongest metal in the world and it's been known of since the 18th century. In fact, it can stand temperatures up to 1650 degrees celcius (3002 degrees fahrenheit). It's so strong, that it is used on rocket nozels for spacecraft. I'm all over that then. If I go into designing these things, no fictional metals for me. Tungsten would probably be my first choice, unless it's too heavy.
  • Here's the thing:

    Giant hulking mech = giant hulking projectile magnet.

    Plus consider fuel consumption, expense of making the damn thing, ammunition costs...

    "Mechs" are not militarily feasible. Personal hardsuits to protect from shrapnel and bullets and allow soldiers to have wider ensory range and such, maybe. But mechs, no.
  • A man size suit of hardened armor would have to be somehow augmented so that he can carry the bloody thing and once you start augmenting human strength and endurence through mechanical means (whether hydrolics or otherwise) I call that a mech.

    You're right though. I doubt we'll ever see 100' tall flying behemouth's with laser swords.
  • There's a problem with metal armor, no matter how advanced it is. It's the reason that they stopped wearing suits of armor after guns were invented. The reason is that metal arlmor can be your own worst enemy. Bad enough a bullet goes in you or a shell drops next to you. But now your own mangled armor is stabbing you in 10,000 places. This is why body armor is all synthetics like kevlar and such.
  • As of right now, and at least for the next 10 or 20 years (barring some kind of major breakthrough), offensive weapons technology far outpaces direct defensive measures. For any land-based vehicle short of a modern battletank, one or two shoulder-fired or TOW missiles is enough to reduce a mutli-million dollar vehicle to so much charred wreckage. In modern urban warfare, anything which can't shrug off a cheap RPG had better be small and fast; target acquisition for a rocket propelled grenade or bazooka can be very fast and it doesn't have to be too accurate.
    More than likely, the US military will develop the exoskeleton technology further to integrate with their Land Warrior System. The American designed exoskeletal suits appear to provide the mobility which is required on the modern battlefield. But I wonder about the acoustic and thermal signatures that these things produce. Also the amount of maintenance that a single suit may require, and the operational range of environments.

    Another reason why modern body armor is made from synthetics: weight-to-protection ratio. Synthetics can protect more per unit of weight than steel.
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