As one of the many fans who watched Iron Man 3 over the last summer, I wondered after leaving the theater how long it would be until someone actually developed a suit based off of the invincible Iron Man armor. Well, it only took me about 6 months to get my answer. Apparently, the US Army is already designing their own version of Tony Stark’s armor. I guess the whole Iron Patriot idea in the movies wasn’t so far fetched after all.
The US Army hopes to create a wearable exoskeleton that can be attached to soldiers before they leave to carry out their marching orders. They are calling this armor TALOS, which stands for Tactical Assault Light Armor Suit. Something tells me the suit will be anything but light.
Just What All Can This “Iron Man” Armor Do?
To begin with, the Army wants the armor to drastically increase and augment the strength of human soldiers. Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, who serves as a Science Advisor in the US Army, had this to say regarding the armor:
“The requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that…It’s advanced armor. It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here, too…”
If this armor is successful, soldiers would theoretically be able to walk through gunfire and not be stopped – unless of course a bullet hit a main circuit or something. Surely they will have all those kinks worked out, though.
The Army plans to work with MIT and other organizations to help them perfect this armor. If all goes according to plan, the Army hopes to have the suits ready for battle in 3 years.
It certainly sounds as if the US Army will have a completely different look and feel in the coming decades. Techbeat recently reported that robotic soldiers might very well outnumber human soldiers by 2023, and this news of Iron Man like armor makes that seem like a real possibility.
Whether only certain soldiers will wear the armor in special situations is a question that will have to be answered at a later time. Another question that remains to be answered is if this armor will allow soldiers with physical disabilities to participate in the military, since it would be the suit doing most of the work.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a step in the right direction, or is the US Army focusing entirely too much on advanced technology?
[Image via politicalblindspot]