U.S. Army is seriously preparing for the Prototype exoskeleton suit that would improve Soldiers physical, mental performance.The “exoskeleton suit” was developed as a result of the DOD-funded Warrior Web program.This means that future Soldiers will be able to march longer, carry heavier gear and improve mental sharpness.
DARPA take on the Suit
The Warrior Web program seeks to develop the technologies required to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries caused by dynamic events typically found in the warfighter’s environment. The ultimate program goal is a lightweight, conformal under-suit that is transparent to the user (like a diver’s wetsuit).
The suit seeks to employ a system (or web) of closed-loop controlled actuation, transmission, and functional structures that protect injury prone areas, focusing on the soft tissues that connect and interface with the skeletal system. Other novel technologies that prevent, reduce, ambulate, and assist with healing of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries are also being sought.
In addition to direct injury mitigation, Warrior Web will have the capacity to augment positive work done by the muscles, to reduce the physical burden, by leveraging the web structure to impart joint torque at the ankle, knee, and hip joints. The suit seeks to reduce the metabolic cost of carrying a typical assault load, as well as compensate for the weight of the suit itself, while consuming no more than 100 Watts of electric power from the battery source.
According to the US Army, The suit has pulleys and gears designed to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries caused by the dynamic events typically experienced in the Warfighter’s environment.Scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have been testing variations of the suit for more than three years at the Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research, or SPEAR, facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
“We’ve been primarily focusing on the physical benefits of these types of suits, but we’re also interested in the cognitive benefits,” said ARL researcher Dr. Angela Boynton. “We’re hoping that by reducing the physical burden, that they also have the ability to put more energy into other types of tasks that involve cognitive or perceptual workload.”
The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has many partner organizations across the DOD and academia.
The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, the Maneuver Center of Excellence, the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the Military Operational Medicine Research Program met at ARL’s SPEAR in June for a soft “exosuit” demonstration and to discuss the path forward for the Army’s Warrior Web Program.
The program, which is funded by DARPA, is coming to an end; however, researchers hope to find future collaborators to expand on the progress gained in the current program iteration.
“In the longer term, the systems have benefits to be integrated into larger Soldier systems and can be integrated with other capabilities to provide a marked advantage for our Soldiers and our warfighters in the future,” said Maj. Christopher Orlowski, DARPA’s Warrior Web program manager. “I think it will take at least another five to 10 years to be ready for the infantry Soldier.”
This technological innovation by the US Army will really encourage more people to join the army.The fear of body weakness and high rate fatigue associated is all gone.Trust me other nations will soon join their boat, especially Russia.What do you make of this project?