quinta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2010

A Suit that Iron Man would approve

Raytheon XOS 2

Tony Stark doesn't yet have to feel insecure about this Raytheon project as his Iron Man suit is much sexier and more powerful than this. This one can only carry heavy objects while Iron Man can fly and has repulsor and unibeams to blast the bad guys. But then, Iron Man is for Comicon, while the Raytheon XOS 2 is for the US Military. But I would pick Iron Man's suit anytime over this, especially with Tony Stark made an upgrade with the suit --- did away with motors and servos and instead redesigned it with nanotechnology that can repair and heal the suit when it gets damage (Invincible Iron Man #25).

If Tony Stark is real life and no Iron Man suit in sight, he would approve this project, and even fund it out of his own pocket. The Raytheon XOS 2 is alreayd the second generation of the exoskeleton project with the first generation coming out in 2008. The second iteration brought improvements in power consumption and more lightweight.

However the XOS 2 is not yet designed to fight with its user, unlike the HULC designed by Lockheed Martin which is now undergoing Natick testing.  It is designed for logistics one example of which is carrying heavy munitions such as artillery shells and missiles from point A to point B. The benefits of the XOS 2 is that it frees up people from the burden of logistics and injuries from carrying heavy objects, as it can do work equilavent to three persons. The freed up personnel can then devote their energies to other tactical or strategic tasks at hand.

While the demos show it to be a versatile exoskeleton, it is still bulky enough to warrant use in actual combat. It is more of a tool to be used far from the frontlines. Just imagine using it combat, you'll be a big target hiding behind a tree or awkward lying prone, and get stuck in tight areas in CQB situations.

The XOS 2 is still undergoing further improvements and the developers are looking to deploying it within 5 years, with more streamlined features and capabilities. There will be another variant of the exoskelton that will be for combat purposes by designing it from the waist down to allow the carrying of backpacks. If deployed together with the HULC, the US army might have troops with superhuman strengths in the not-so-distant future.

The Iron Man Army is almost close to reality.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO0xNI3xpmE&fs=1&hl=en_GB&rel=0&hd=1]

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