According to a UC
Berkeley press release, the DARPA-funded Berkeley Lower Extremity
Exoskeleton (BLEEX) project which began in 2000 will demonstrate
their exoskelton at next week's DARPATech
Symposium in Anaheim, California. A BLEEX-equipped soldier will be
able carry heavy loads over considerable distances without feeling any
additional weight. A few more details can be found in a recent Betterhumans.com
story on BLEEX.
Looks like a neat piece of technology for allowing soldiers to carry
heavy loads on the battlefield. But if you've got a lot of equipment to
carry there are I think two more sensible options. The obvious one is
simply to load your equipment onto a truck instead of onto yourself, and
the second one is to make the equipment smaller and lighter using better
materials and technology.
A soldier using an exoskeleton to carry a heavy load would be the modern
day equivalent of a fully suited medieval knight - impressive to look at
but virtually useless on foot in a combat situation requiring quick
Some of the articles on that "better humans" site made me smile. In the
modern cynical age it's highly unusual to read such utopian views.
This is a precursor of what's to come.
Exoskeleton suits or body armor would be great when they get their
speed up to snuff.
Heavily armored, fast mobile troops carrying serious firepower would
really do in the enemy.
Plus you gotta be ready for when the bug wars start like in Starship
Troopers (the book not the movie).
I agree that the battlefield uses are cool, however, think about what
this technology could do for someone who doesn‛TM]t have the use of their
legs like a paraplegic.