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'Warrior Suit' Combat Exoskeleton Project Still Alive

The 'Warrior Suit' combat exoskeleton idea is still alive, according to unclassified April 2022 presentation from the Maneuver Capability Development Integration Directorate (MCDID) at Army Futures Command.

“We will build that Warrior Suit in baby steps,” said [deputy director of robotics requirements for the MCDID Ted] Maciuba at the time, according to Defense News. “The first thing is: how are you going to allow a soldier to carry that extra 50 pounds and not feel like they’re carrying it? And then we will work our way up to upper body and we will start to integrate it so that it will be a Warrior Suit by 2040-ish. We have to take it in small steps.”

Maciuba was directly inspired by Starship Troopers in his conception of powered exoskeletons, even paraphrasing the sci-fi classic author Robert Heinlein in a 2018 article for the National Infantry Association on battlefield robotics: “The beauty of an [exoskeleton is that] you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to drive it, fly it, conn it, operate it: you just wear it, and it takes orders directly from your muscles.”


(Power Suit from 'Starship Troopers' by Robert Heinlein)

...Most recently, U.S. Special Operations Command spent five years developing the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) system that, colloquially known as the ‘Iron Man’ suit in the press, was abruptly abandoned in 2019 amid challenges integrating the complex latticework of unique subsystems into one cohesive whole.

(Via TaskandPurpose.)

Science fiction fans are well aware of Robert Heinlein's powered armor from Starship Troopers (1959), but may not know about John W. Campbell's earlier description of atomic powered lifting suits in The Brain Pirates (1938):

"We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets, so that'll protect us from the weight, if what our instruments say about that world's true..."

"I'll go check up on those suits and make some adjustments. I hadn't thought they'd have to handle any double-gravity worlds."


(From 'The Brain Pirates' by John Campbell)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/27/2023)

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