The United States military could soon have its very own Iron Man suit. The prototype is set to debut within weeks. The suit is a robotic exoskeleton designed to enhance human abilities in battle. Time will tell how well it compares to Tony Stark’s superhero suit, but the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is being devised to assist its wearer in lifting heavy loads, protect them from bullets and provide the lucky soldier with information concerning their environment using sensors, cameras and advanced displays. TALOS will have bulletproof armor, 360-degree cameras with built-in night vision capabilities, sensors that can detect injuries and apply wound-sealing foam.
The prototype of TALOS will be ready for release very soon but the more complete version will not be ready for a few years. According to Battelle, a science and technology research institute out of Columbus, it is expected to be ready for actual battle between 2016 and 2018.
In Greek mythology Talos was a giant man, or according to others maybe a bull, made of bronze that guarded the island of Crete. This giant was given the task of patrolling the island by walking around three times a day. Talos would drive pirates from the shore with a fiery death embrace or by throwing rocks.
TALOS is being developed by engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), as well as other researchers at other academic institutions and businesses. The suit’s technology will be rigorously tested. According to William McRaven, head of the United States Special Operations Command, military personnel hopes to have operational systems join in battle no later than August 2018. If the suit is done correctly it will produce a revolutionary improvement in capability and survivability for special operations.
The TALOS project started out as a way to explore how modern technology can be used to protect special operations officers better in combat zones. McRaven said,
This technology could give American soldiers a huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need. With all the advances in modern technology, I know we can do better.
With so much technology at our hands it definitely sounds as if the U.S. military will have a totally different look and feel in the near future. Who knows, perhaps robotic soldiers may eventually outnumber human soldiers. This news of the Iron Man prototype debuting next month makes this seem like a real possibility.
Whether the TALOS suits will only be worn in special situations or by certain soldiers still remains a mystery. One question that has floated throughout conversation is whether or not this armor will afford soldiers with physical disabilities to participate in the armed forces. This theory does not seem far-fetched since the Iron Man uniform will be doing the bulk of the work.
The first prototype of the high-tech suit of armor is set to debut in June. This means the United States armed forces will have its very own superhero gear. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit is being designed to enhance human abilities in battle. Many are excited to see how well it compares to Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)