US Army Testing “Exosuit” to Reduce Soldier Fatigue and Injury

The US Army is currently testing a new full body orthopedic “exosuit” designed to reduce soldier fatigue and injury, according to a press release made by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) last week.

Although similar in concept, the new suit is neither an exoskeleton nor is it a powered armor. Most obviously, it has no armor plates nor is it powered, unlike powered armor, but also unlike an unpowered exoskeleton it does not have any rigid structure elements designed to remove the load from the user’s legs. Instead, the suit uses a series of pulleys and cables to act as a sort of “soft exoskeleton”, hence the somewhat redundant name “exosuit”.

According to the article, the new suit could offer benefits beyond just physical function and reduced injury; the team is reportedly also looking at potential cognitive benefits. Said ARL researcher Dr. Angela Boynton:

We’ve been primarily focusing on the physical benefits of these types of suits, but we’re also interested in the cognitive benefits… We’re hoping that by reducing the physical burden, that they also have the ability to put more energy into other types of tasks that involve cognitive or perceptual workload.

Despite the promise of the suit, its development raises questions of exactly how such unpowered soft suits would be used in the future. According to the press release:

Thanks to a new “suit” being developed by the DOD-funded Warrior Web program, future Soldiers will be able to march longer, carry heavier gear and improve mental sharpness.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is likely to come hand-in-hand with new technologies like this, meanwhile the soldier’s load is at a critical level and desperately needs to be reduced. Without the introduction of a radical new technology like true powered armor, the focus should be on improving conditioning, reducing injuries, and reducing the soldier’s load. While a full-body orthopedic suit like this one could be a major improvement in these areas, it would be a mistake to assume that it represents “carte blanche” to load the soldier down with even more gear.

According to Major Christopher Orlowski, perfection of the suit is expected to take at least another 5-10 years.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Haulin’ Oats

    What.. this isn’t a gun???

    • b0x3r0ck

      Need to look at the big picture the pulley system is one of the cheaper way to up a person’s strength. There are very few contact point and most parts can be picked up off the shelf. Aka the war fighter can carry bigger guns and better armor. Hopefully everyone can start to understand why switching over to a battle rifle is going to be a thing.

      • Giolli Joker


        • b0x3r0ck

          There not much data on the frag 12 but it is in deed effective against soft targets and the current style of armor protection I would think. Being that a target is most likely to die from spilling or concussive force VS current armor. So the natural course of action would be to add more weight in the form of armor. But then the frag 12 loses its effectiveness against better armor. Which brings us to repeating history I.e. the cold war and the introduction of shaped charges. Because of shaped charges a lot of thing were put in place to counter it like explosive reactive armor, spaced armor and caged armor. Well anyways in all truth drone will most likely put my ideal 12gauge to market before exo suits anyways.

      • aka_mythos

        I think we’ll eventually see something smoothbore like a 12ga but firing guided or self correcting projectiles.

      • Samuel Millwright

        Switching over to a battle rifle will be an unbelievably stupid and counterproductive thing if it happens…

        Even assuming that an unpowered suit COULD get you to physically being capable of hauling the weight of a battle rifle ammo load…. There’s this thing, it’s called cubic volume….

        If each guy is 5’6″ from shoulder to shoulder across you are gonna run into a whole bunch of other problems besides weight REAL FAST!

        think Bradley’s are crowded now?

    • Dougscamo

      Was expecting this….but not from you….

  • Geoff Timm

    I’ve wanted a Marauder suit since I read “Starship Troopers” Geoff Who might make that a Scout Suit.

    • Ever read “Armor”?

      • Geoff Timm

        Yes. I liked Heinlein better than Steakley. Geoff Who read “Starship Troopers” in grade school. I took it out of the library down the road.

  • Major Tom

    So add another to the pile of dead-end projects for exo-suits and powered armor. HULC, TALOS, a couple more I can’t remember the name of, all of them have never really gone anywhere despite some of them being allegedly ready for testing, use or production for several years now.

    Also, exos belong in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, not real war. Powered armor or go home.

    • aka_mythos

      That just means they couldn’t find anyone willing to pay for testing.

    • PK

      These aren’t dead-end projects, they simple lack a dense enough energy source… for now. This is a case of waiting for battery tech to advance, or developing a smaller, more fuel efficient engine for generation of power.

      • Major Tom

        Define dense enough power source. I remember I think it was TALOS had something like a 12 hour battery life.

        No energy source lasts indefinitely. Meaning if powered armor were to be a thing it would either do a fundamental revision of mission time doctrine or it’d be the definitive proof that we need to start scrapping the amount of weight an infantryman is carrying.

        • iksnilol

          nuclear generator.

          • Major Tom

            Next you’ll tell me we’re working on phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range.

          • cwolf

            We are fielding an anti-drone laser weapon. Although I’m waiting for the man portable rail gun.

        • Samuel Millwright

          Talos isn’t even out yet and btw the program DID Define exactly what they want…

          12-15kilowatts of steady state power for 12-36 hours onboard the suit itself in the form of generator plus fuel or high density storage… Aka generator plus fuel because lol NOPE That’s several hundred kg worth of batteries!

          And FWIW, even though air farce sucks at sharing they’ve found a setup which will meet the requirements by the time everything else is ready without hitting anywhere close to a billion in dev and rampup costs

          • Phillip Cooper

            What is it the AF have?

          • Samuel Millwright

            Axial vector engines of a couple different types which may or may not be used as powerplants in some UAV’s depending on who you ask.

            They’ve pretty definitely got the power density and compactness necessary to power exoskeletons, and or would cost less to “get across the finish line” than a whole new engine like liquid piston.

      • Swarf

        Elon Musk would just plotz a puppy if the company’s research and development in battery tech ended up in battle gear.

        • iksnilol

          And with good reason.

        • Phillip Cooper

          All the more reason it needs to.

          Really don’t care for that guy.

        • Wow!

          Elon Musk can’t even make a dime in his company without gov and hopeful left wing donations. And yet despite all the money he hasn’t actually innovated anything that any other company has done, especially if they got a nearly limitless source of funding. Most of his products don’t even work as intended despite all that.

          • iksnilol

            Oh yeah, let’s just ignore the reusable launch system and being the first ones to commercialise space travel. Or making EVs popular and viable in comparison to burners.

            Really, guy’s done nothing useful at all. /sarc

          • Wow!

            Yeah, that is nothing. The RL system was started by NASA. Obama killed NASA’s research and so lots of people working on it (among other projects) moved on to a variety of other companies. Space travel commercialization is hardly a success, more like a work in progress (like everything Musk does…). And again, it is really easy to talk about all these things when you don’t have to worry about a profit and actually bringing results to the table because the gov is footing your bill.

            If you want to talk about companies that gets things done, you probably should be looking at the projects Google does. They actually get far enough results that they can sell their works to other companies, something Musk has constantly failed to do. Most importantly, they produce things that actually work here and now. They make Musk look like a kid playing with legos paid for by his parents.

          • iksnilol

            What? like getting cars to drive themselves?

            Only thing google is good at is funding the right folks, not unlike Musk.

            Also, why are you so caught up on the profit? Isn’t the progress of the human race any thought to you? And yeah, they do make a profit.

          • Wow!

            Self driving cars are Mercedes’s work. Musk just copied the concept, and poorly which resulted in that fatal crash. Mercedes put a lot of time into the background testing while Musk kind of threw it out and crossed his fingers like all of his products.

            Funding the right people is a pretty big deal. Most people who don’t know much about business and think you can just throw money at something and things will get done. Not so. As an investor, companies are literally the driving force behind technology. Their careful review of the work being done and where to direct focus is what determines if the development becomes a success and fail.

            And that highlights the big issue about Musk that he and his followers like you don’t understand. Throwing money won’t make a dream reality by itself. Right now Tesla’s entire survival is due to government subsidies/tax breaks, and stock market speculation. Everyone is holding their breath with Tesla expecting great stuff in the future, even though right now the actual products are below mediocre. Tesla is trying to keep the hype going by introducing new products and maintaining a heavy public presence. He is dependent on the environmentalists who are trying to promote the idea of electric cars even thought he public has shown that they do not want or need them due to the efficiency of petroleum. Even the energy crisis of 2000 manufactured by the EPA by restricting energy sources was not enough to drive people to electric cars.

            When you talk about progress of the human race, profit highlights what truly advances humans, novelties and trinkets do not. Just like how the body regulates precious ATP only to cells that need the energy, a free market directs money only to companies and products that bring results worth paying for. Government intervention is like narcotics, sending resources blindly in one direction that even if it is poisonous to the body as a whole, it won’t stop so long as it is given power. Tesla takes in a lot of money, and yet to this day it still can only match the technology of other companies that produce the equivalence with much less development costs.

          • iksnilol

            That guy that got himself killed was at fault. he put the car on autopilot and then proceeded to watch a film. That’s a Darwin award candidate. There’s a reason airplanes always have one pilot keeping an eye open.

            How are the Tesla cars and Dragon missiles “mediocre”. Only subsidies they’ve received is less car tax when purchasing one, hardly a bailout. And of course brand new tech will be more expensive. You’re like the guys saying “why can’t an non AR/AK rifle be less than 500 dollars?”. And if you can’t see the use in reducing oil consumption then you’re pretty callous regarding the future state of the world after your death.

            That last paragraph is retarded. If that was true, if the free market only provided money to what’s needed then why do novelties make so much money (IE fidget spinners)? Frankly, it sounds very stalinist what you believe.

          • Wow!

            It doesn’t change the fact that it failed miserably. A car is not an airliner, it is closer to the concept of a crop duster. Remember driver ed videos? If something goes wrong, it is going to go wrong much faster than you can react unless you are driving the car yourself. In which case if you pin it as operator error you completely undermine the whole ideal Tesla was supporting and people will choose the saver and cheaper option to drive the car themselves.

            The energy crisis is a joke. Frankly there is more oil than we will ever use in several lifetimes (the actual quantity isn’t even known since we have only probed a very small portion of the world) and that isn’t even including the existing reserves that have been restricted by the EPA. Every single prediction of petroleum shortage has failed so far. If (and only if) we reach an actual petroleum shortage then electric cars will start to have relevance but no sooner because gas burners are much more efficient and higher performing.

            The free market is more than fidget spinners. That is another issue with Tesla followers. They are stuck in an echo chamber and don’t see that Tesla really isn’t producing anything of significance compared to all the other ventures going on. For Tesla, that is great since all companies want blind followings, but speculation alone won’t keep a company’s doors open. Right now Tesla is riding the wave of speculation by environmentalists, but once that blind support ends they will be dead in the water compared to other manufacturers that actually make products that work reliably here and now, not just in the future, whenever that is.

            I don’t think you know what Stalinist means.

          • iksnilol

            It didn’t fail miserably, he was being stupid and got what he deserved. Do we say that a gun malfunctioned when somebody shoots themselves in the leg? No, we say they were careless (which they were).

          • Wow!

            A gun isn’t advertised to shoot for itself which is why guns don’t kill people, people do.

          • iksnilol

            Meh, ain’t problem in quantity of oil. Point is it will run out one day… and the world will probably be irreparably damaged before that point if we continue this amount of pollution. But global warming at the accelerated rate that’s happening now is just a Chinese hoax, right?

            How ain’t they producing anything of significance with popularizing EVs and leading to the actual use of reusable launch systems ?

            i do know what Stalinist means, I mean, you wanted only efficency. Thus everything that doesn’t provide maximum profit is merely a setback. Aesthetics are a waste of time and money, so is sanitation and waste managment (because they don’t bring in a profit).

            Also, your ATP analogy was stupid. You ignored the parts that are needed to make the ATP and the parts needed to process it’s remains. I mean, if you’re gonna use biology, at least do it right. Otherwise you sound like a tryhard.

          • Wow!

            It isn’t a guarantee that we will run out of it one day. There is a lot of life that dies on this Earth all the time and petroleum is constantly being produced. We don’t know at what rate it is being produced and how much there is. Until that quantity is known, gas burners are a lot cheaper and efficient than electric which wastes a heck of a lot more energy through conversion.

            Because Tesla isn’t the only company in the market and the technology was build up by NASA. None of it is ready for mainstream yet either, like most of what Tesla produces.

            If you want something the market doesn’t want, you can pay for it with your own money. Again, I don’t think you know what Stalinist means. It isn’t about efficiency, it is about central control of the market as a whole.

            The ATP analogy works just fine. Like a free market with money, the body doesn’t dedicate molecules by destination, but as the result of several processes influenced by the demands of the body as a whole. I don’t need to discuss carbohydrate metabolism in detail to get the point across that macroeconomics works from a bottom up approach, not a top down where a central thing is uniformly micromanaging everything in a specific direction. Besides, chances are you wouldn’t know things like the citric acid cycle anyways, and it wouldn’t help you understand economics either.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, the Dragons, the cars, the launch systems are all getting traction and work well. Sorta looks like ready for “Mainstream”. If it all was NASA then why don’t they get the money from it? I mean, when Ford makes a car, then VW doesn’t sell it and make money off it.

            And don’t you want to control the market by refusing it a cleaner alternative? Again, you’re more of a commie than you’d ever admit.

            Nobodody is denying that coal and gas is cheaper. It’s just the whole “wrecking the climate irreperably with continued use” that’s sorta a bummer. Just sorta.

            But nerves literally dedicate molecules by destination. Again, how bad were you at cellular biology? I feel like you really got cheated at whatever college you went to.

          • Wow!

            Electric cars are a lot more “dirty” than petroleum. Electricity doesn’t come from thin air. Guess where it starts? With a generator and that generator is often coal driven because alternatives aside from nuclear tend to be unreliable power sources. Then you have to package that electricity into several forms before it even gets to your electric car, and in the process of charging your car you waste even more energy. And this is just the standard use. Production of car batteries are even more dirty than any petroleum refinement and the disposal of batteries are a nightmare. At least with carbon nature is already primed to incorporate back into the environment as cellulose (yes, things like wood and plant matter come from that “dirty” CO2) compared to inorganic chemicals used by batteries.

            You also apparently don’t know what communism is. Having the market drive the technologies adopted rather than government subsidized development is the complete opposite of communistic economies.

            I think you were cheated by your college, or more than likely you were not a student of biochemistry. The nervous system does not actively distribute molecules to cells. It can influence it through the endocrine system but cells generally work based on chemical and electrical gradients which reach certain thresholds that drive an action.

          • iksnilol

            electricity doesn’t come from thin air? Well, it sorta does in Denmark, and it does come from water in Norway. Batteries can be recycled and thus reused which means less damage long term.

            Okay, so the nervous system sending signals to the endocrine system which then starts other processes to send energy to various parts of the body isn’t the nervous system indirectly sending resources to the parts? Yeah, you definitely slept through class. Also, do you think I’m so stupid I don’t know that plants use CO2? Frankly, I find that a bit insulting. What you fail to realize, is that introducing vast unnatural amounts of CO2 (like, I dunno, the ones that were under the ground for millions of years that vastly outnumber the CO2 that gets processed by plants on the surface) won’t end well. All in all, you grasp at straws and nonsensical arguments and are condenscending. Thus I see no purpose in continuing this conversation.

            Have a nice day, comrade 😉

          • Wow!

            Not everywhere in the world is near a body of water. Alternative energies are unreliable in most of the world and even then they tend to supplement the grid, not establish it. Only a small portion of the battery can be recycled and then it definitely is not a clean process. I would rather deal with carbon than to be neutralizing acids and scrapping metals.

            The nervous system is not “literally dedicat(ing) molecules by destination”. It is influenced but it isn’t like one molecule is differentiated to go to one cell over another. It is directed chaos, not a planned trajectory. Your body works by homeostatic balance of systems, not by planning everything out.

            There isn’t any conclusive research that points to any “unnatural” threshold of CO2. Ironically this is the same situation like the body that you aren’t understanding. When CO2 concentrations go up, organisms that can process it to liberate the oxygen proliferate. Its a basic of ecology. Nature isn’t static, it is adaptive.

          • iksnilol

            And isn’t homestatic balance a form of planning? One part does not get a surplus nor does it get a deficency (unless there is an actual anemia or malnourishment or something going on).

            Yes, nature is adaptive, but there’s limits to how fast it can adapt. Just like if I throw a rock in your face and then say “think fast” it’s gonna hurt.

          • Wow!

            It’s not a plan, its a reaction to a condition. Does your computer know what you are going to do when you turn it on? No, but it does know what to do when certain inputs are sensed. Similarly, the body is not coordinated to go from A to B. Each part functions as it chemically is able to, and as a whole you get a working system.

            Yeah, but emissions from automobiles are not produced relatively fast, or far reaching compared to the vast majority of the world which generally is not populated by humans.

          • iksnilol

            Of course not from automobiles. but they contribute together with the factories. Or is global warming just a hoax? Again, you only perceive the small picture. It’s awful lot of work to keep a dying industry afloat, especially considering how many future jobs a country denies itself by bitterly clinging to coal (especially considering how coal and oil energy is more expensive than renewable).

          • Wow!

            Global Warming is already refuted. The current theory is climate change as the world is not uniformly warming as it was blindly touted a decade ago, but rather going through cycles between years as the astronomical phenomenon of precession had taught us so long ago.

            Coal and oil is cheaper than renewable and more efficient. Renewable energy has a lot of problems with maintenance and reliability. Acrylics on solar sells cloud, turbines freeze up during the winter, and melt in the summer, etc. More domestic jobs are also produced by coal, not alternative energies.

          • iksnilol

            “Global warming is refuted”

            Ah, one of those people. No sense in attempting to communicate with thee anymore, lest you start linking me flat earth proof videos.

          • Wow!

            Typical of most environmental apocalypse criers, who aren’t even up to date on their own stance to formulate any educated arguments.

            I’ll assume it is out of ignorance and not deception, given that you didn’t understand how cells work, you probably weren’t college educated (or really really old) so it is understandable that you only know what you hear in popular media. Not that there is any shame in not having higher education, it isn’t beneficial if it isn’t related to your occupation. Still, I suggest reading up on the scientific method (this is determines what actual science is, and not just hearsay or premature claims) and what confounding errors are, and then comparing common claims made by global warming theorists from the start of this century to facts that astronomy has given us (understanding what precession is is a good start).

            The public likes a good scare, but science has to stay in the realm of reality. You could see signs of a imminent danger such as the fears of polar shift, but if you can’t segregate observed phenomenon from all other possible causes, then it is little more than a figment of your imagination. Of course, researching it is always encouraged since discoveries can change it all, but acting simply on a fear is like a cult preaching the end of the world. Science has to be more consistent and even tempered than that.

          • Wow!

   Kind of a different story than just “less car tax”. Literally on the first page when you google “Tesla”.

      • Samuel Millwright

        That’s because the Air Farce sucks at sharing…

        Kinda like why the 80’s and 90’s didn’t see the birth of the turbine light aircraft revolution and the Army got screwed last time with the tomahawk engine….

      • RetiredSOFguy

        Power is a problem for sure. So is available space–not just entering and exiting vehicles, but getting enough folks in a helo, adequately using cover, entering buildings. And I haven’t seen the grip strength solution for TALOS or anything else–kind of sucks having to fast rope with that much weight. And of course, what happens when a knee-hinge fails for whatever reason.

        Tech is nowhere close on this, even if you provide the uber power source.

        Still, the mannequins at Tampa in the TALOS shop are amusing to look at.

    • crackedlenses

      “Powered armor or go home.”

      Which would have an even greater power requirement. Exo-skeletons would come first.

  • Tim

    Do it for the trannies.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I was watching a discussion I believe on Primary and Secondary and they we saying if they started using this tech the soldiers will just have more weight piled on them and and there will likely be no net gain in their mobility. And it’s likely the weight will be items like heavier body amor that will stop threats that aren’t out there yet.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      It was P&S, I remember it.

    • Ark

      We need to start equipping our soldiers with Level VI reflective anti-laser mirror plates, now!

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    This exoskeleton stuff is nonsense. Caseless ammo is more relevant and likely to be adopted.

    • Samuel Millwright

      Lol … You couldn’t have that more backwards if you tried…

    • Wow!

      Exoskeletons give the potential for mobility and strength with applications in all kinds of uses such as rescue (not just carrying heavier loads)

      Caseless ammo only has the function of theoretically lighter loadouts (the bullet is still often the heaviest part of the cartridge) and possibly helping the anti-gunners reduce the ability of domestic gun owners from making their own ammo such as by reloading (although depending on the design of the ammo, maybe it could make it easier for reloaders)

      Personally I think the most valuable place to research in is information gathering tools as well as concealed weapon systems. A few people in the right place can do a lot more than overt military movements in some cases, not to mention an armed force is useless without good relevant intelligence.

  • Ark

    You know what’s cheap and doesn’t require any money or R&D? Carrying less crap!

    • Dingbat NCO

      The heads should reread, “The Soldiers Load and the Mobility of a Nation”.

      What is the problem with creating a supply line? Air drops, etcetera. It seems like they keep trying to make the unit more versatile, rather than more efficient.

      • Ark

        See how versatile you are when you’re carrying your body weight in gear, the enemy is shooting at you with a PKM from a kilometer away, and the nearest place you could shoot back from is three kilometers and five hundred feet of elevation change away.

        The army’s new .308 whim is, IMO, directly connected to the fact that US grunts cannot MOVE anymore. Or, at least, they sure can’t move like a 140 pound talib with sandals, an AK, and two magazines stuffed in his pockets.

        • Sabrina Gray

          Than maybe carrying more gear isn’t the issue. The .308 isn’t the answer, fighting the war differently is.

          • Wow!

            Definitely our issue is in how we fight. The past decade politicians have had no vision about what we are fighting for and as a result the military has to plan for everything rather than building tactics around a specific core strategy. Same kind of situation was happening in LE here too frankly where officers are told to stop crime, but then punished when they do. Too much contradiction.

      • Wow!

        It might be in part because “strategy” in the Obama era has been to throw our men into conflicts then pull out back and forth without any real lasting purpose. We haven’t really committed to a goal since GWB, and even then he kind of went lame duck towards the end.

        Whatever the case you are right about efficiency and specialization is a smarter approach.

        • Warren Ellis

          We weren’t any more committed to a goal under Bush. Look at the debacle and stupidity of how he and his cabinet handled the Iraqi occupation.

          They’re both crap at war.

          • Wow!

            I give a pass with Bush in some parts because he did some things good and some things bad. The first goal was US security by stopping the proliferation of the NBC threats in the area. When you get down to it that is what Iraq was all about for America. People made fun of Bush back then, but true to his word he didn’t betray military intelligence about the specifics of these threats for his own political gain, even though no one would have faulted him if he did. Democrats would like to say oil, but that is propaganda considering out imports actually dropped due to sanctions and we paid for every drop thereafter.

            His long term plan was where he screwed up. His idea was that we liberate the area and the people would then rebuild their country with more western values. It worked for Japan, but then again Iraq isn’t anywhere close to what Imperial Japan was. The islamic values were too deeply rooted in the establishment there that caused the former party to essentially survive under a new name. Bush gave the Iraqis too much freedom too quickly without correcting the establishment culture. He also naively assumed that Obama would have the same goals as him and continue to back the reformation movement, and he didn’t plan any safeguards to protect those who were allied with us from the new administration.

            The last years of his presidency Bush just went total lame duck. He was fed up with the democrats AND the republicans who didn’t back him up when it wasn’t politically advantageous for themselves. No one gave Bush any credit for things he did do well and he was subjected to a lot of lies by the media (for example on the economy). On the other hand he couldn’t exactly piss anyone off due to his father, and I think that is one of the major factors in why he is maintaining a friendly relationship with Clinton.

            Of course none of this is necessarily a good excuse because Bush should have seen Obama coming and the consequences of it. Bush should have been self motivating because as much as he had the world against him, we had stronger presidents like Reagan and right now Trump who had just as bad if not worse political hostilities but they still managed to fight it through to the end.

  • LazyReader

    You wanna reduce soldier fatigue, stop making them carry 180 pound backpacks, stop destroying their knees with crazy regimens. Teach them ergonomic exercise.

    • That’s crazy talk. We need to give them a 20lb suit and +30lbs of gear, so when the suit breaks they are carrying 150lb plus the suit that broke.

      • Samuel Millwright

        Wtf bro…

        You forgot the 5 pound third arm Natick has been developing!

        Are you trying to get our soldiers killed by instigating a third arm gap?

        Soldiers with two arms are as obsolete as the failure of a DI gas system and too light to prove your manhood stoner designed AR!

        We MUST slap on new technolimbs to our warfighters for exactly the same reasons we MUST slap a short stroke piston operating system and 9 pound cqc enabled hk brand melee quad rail to the armalite rifle which was never designed to accomodate them!!!

        I’m beginning to think you just hate progress

        • noob

          Or you’ve spent less than two weeks on a tourist holiday to Mars.

      • cwolf

        see also medindDOTnicDOTin/icf/t09/i2/icft09i2p153.pdf

    • AlDeLarge

      The best PT test I ever took was after a month at PLDC actually following FM 21-20, not the nonsense that was said to be in it. It was also the easiest month of PT sessions I ever had.

  • Give me my power armor.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “…future Soldiers will be able to march longer, carry heavier gear…”

    Initial field tests confirm that the suits are being sabotaged at a rate of nearly 100%…..

  • Vincent

    Ha, not “assume”, they ARE going to toss on more stuff when viable powered exoskeletons come into play.
    But instead of it just being damaged leg joints, people are also going to talk about how the leg servos of the exoskeleton constantly wearing or blowing out from the strain.

    • Risky

      That’s a lot easier of a fix than someone’s knee… and tons cheaper than years of disability and surgeries after they’ve left service.

      • milesfortis

        No kidding.
        Count of surgeries:
        1 Left Knee
        2 Right Knee
        1 Right Shoulder

        ~500+ hrs Physical Therapy over the years
        Diagnosed degenerative arthritis of hips/ankles/thoracic vertebrae
        3 Service Connected VA compensable disabilities.

        I read Starship Troopers years before I enlisted and later dreamed of the day one of those Marauder armored suits would go from fiction to reality.

      • Samuel Millwright

        Until the 12 liters of triple enriched ultrahydrocarbon and alien face eater blood inside the high power density electrical load balancing system of your exoskeleton takes a hit from an $8 pipe bomb and you have to wait for boston robotics ERV (exoskeleton recovery vehicle aka k918b “can opener”) to show up and cut you out of the remains of your god damn suit ….. Well all the limbs organs etc which HAVEN’T been too compromised by the chemical burns and exotic lefthanded metamaterial shrapnel that is…

        It’s ok though because DARPAS working on that whole limb regeneration thing, and a therapeutic regimen involving cranial electrodes and drug therapy that will erase the memory of the 3 and a half hours you spent being slowly dissolved by acid etc while waiting on the ERV….


  • Anonymoose

    Wake me up when they make a version with a jetpack.

    • Major Tom

      And deflector shields.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    Big Army will inevitably spend billions to reduce Joe’s combat load weight by 10 lbs only to have the brass saddle the soldier with 20lbs of more usless gear. Our military seriously needs to rediscover what light infantry is.

    • KidCorporate

      Also what “not getting into unwinnable money laundering operations disguised as wars” is.

      • Wow!

        In case you didn’t notice, islamic terrorism is a real thing and didn’t magically start at 9/11.

  • iksnilol

    Can’t they just carry the same amount as before with the new suits and thus reduce strain?

    • Swarf

      Ha ha ha! Good one.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      You do not understand the US Army.
      At. All.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Hey! Silver lining in allowing women in combat roles, we finally got off our butts and started down the road to making battle mechs!

  • tsh77769

    I’m in an infantry unit. I would love to see a new “spin” on, wait for it….
    BICYCLES!! And, with a way to have the pack on the bike and not not on your shulders while riding. I know it has been done before. It needs to be re-examined. Bicycles can handle a wide variety of terrain, certainly far from all, but still. You could push, drag, or carry the bicycle if you need to at times because you wouldn’t be as worn out from all the marching. Bicycles are something that can be done NOW & CHEAP.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      First we need the CIA to install bike racks in the desert so they wont get stolen.

      • chicago mike

        The next $43 million dollar boondoggle in the desert. McCain and Graham will be all over it.

    • Some Guy

      There are many nations where this idea would fit perfectly(the Dutch would fit perfectly), but we are still talking about the USA where bikes are often seen as children toys or tree hugger transportation.
      I personaly love the idea. Just use purpose built pedelecs and you are faster and can carry more stuff without ruining your soldiers health.
      (The question is would the unit now be light cavalry, bicycle cavalry, bicycle infantry or just infantry)

      • iksnilol

        And the electrical versions with mid mounted engines (the best) aren’t that expensive either. Cheaper than a HK416.

      • Brett baker

        AMI-assault mounted infantry.

      • Phillip Cooper

        Hell, put an electric assist motor on it and now we are really talking.

        COTS tech, too! I could build one today.

    • Wow!

      I seem to recall US paratroopers using bicycles at one point in time, like sometime in the 90s. They were OD green and folded up.

  • How much weight do soldiers from other 1st and and 2nd world militaries carry?

  • Aaron

    *Yawns* What is the current status of Mule, Big Dog, and Cheetah, along with implementation of Dagor? Oh and drone overwatch feeding terrain and infrared data to infantry units on patrol?

    • Samuel Millwright

      Mule’s dead and Google bought Boston Robotics…

      • joe tusgadaro

        Google have now sold Boston Dynamics to Softbank of Japan…

  • 22winmag

    Good for the movie Elysium.

    Not so good for TFB.

    Just another inane, non-firearms post pushing the quality firearms posts off the front page before their time.

  • Arie Heath

    Or, you know, you could just make your supply lines better and have the soldiers carry less crap. But hey, I’m just a civilian.

  • GearHead
  • Isa Akhbar

    Ooh, oooh, oooh.,,,I have an idea for this!!! REDUCE THE LOAD, YOU DIMWITS!!!

  • Sledgecrowbar

    “This system can be integrated with other systems, which in turn can be integrated with other systems.”

    Pro nerds are not PR people.

  • Bal256

    New suit allows soldiers to carry 50 more pounds of gear without injury.

    Army brass are excited at the possibilities of increased capabilities soldiers will have when they increase their equipment load by 60 pounds.

  • Ryfyle

    I can’t see why this is unpowered. Billy-Ray’s son could probably make a better Exoskeleton with an Adriano and RC car motors.

  • Rooster

    Want to win wars…change the BS rules of engagement! We have the best warfighters in the world we train them to do a job then send them overseas and tie their hands , it’s been going on since Vietnam. Everything else is secondary, if they made the greatest battle rifle in the world but couldn’t use it because of roe, what good is it. I also firmly believe untieing our militarys hands would also reduce PTS significantly. Just my opinion/experience. General Maddis is our best hope to accomplish this.

  • Rock Island Auction

    I’d be more interested in seeing possible physical therapy applications for wounded soldiers (and civilians).

    • iksnilol

      Now you’re just beinjg a pinko commie bleeding heart liburul.

  • cwolf

    There is a new Army PT program underway, based on core Warrior Tasks & Battle Drills.

    The Canadian Army moved away from running to timed marching with a backpack for their PT.

    There have been past efforts to lighten the load.



    Of course, part of the Army’s injury problems are not just the load, but also injury treatment, nutrition, etc. All of which is a much longer note. Previously injured Ss are 3.5x more likely to be re-injured.

    For example, Kleges et al showed athletes losing a gram of calcium/day in sweat. That plus poor calcium intake (few consumed dairy), resulted in weak bones. Since longer duration exercise studies show PTH increasing (a marker for bones weakening), a complete electrolyte beverage should be considered. The body needs calcium to operate and, if no calcium is around, it will take it from bones.

    Lappe et al gave Navy recruits 2 grams of calcium plus vitamin D/day which decreased stress fractures by 20%. Remember USARIEM documents vit D decreasing in Army BCT (McClung et al)(likely due to uniform wear).

    Bones are a protein-mineral matrix filled with fat (and stem cells that make blood components). It is protein that makes bones resilient ….and bones will only re-model effectively with more protein than the RDA (Heaney).

    Lowes BTW is already using a low tech expo-skeleton in its operations.

  • GR Arnold

    I would hate to have to wear this damn thing. I know the designers mean well but they can find some other way to get paid. With modern helicopter transportation, etc., I don’t see why all grunts simply cannot go to “light infantry” concepts and reduce the amount of gear each individual has to carry. Our military needs to design lighter and smarter before anything else.

  • Colonel K

    And to think that men used to go into combat in shorts and kilts. Now everybody looks like a cross between Robocop and Ninja Turtles.

  • RetiredSOFguy

    Uh, how about “…future soldiers will be able to move easier and quicker, since combat is more like a soccer game than a power lifting contest, and still be able to fight when the system inevitably fails…”

  • Defender 1

    Here comes the REMF in his super suit. Seems like they never take into consideration HEAT! So, you wear that under your DCU’s? Everyone knows steroids are what is used to prevent soldier fatigue😆

  • iksnilol

    What else would you use the damn contraption for?

  • iksnilol

    I’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, I’m ready for this.


    Same thing as cars…more horsepower, 50% lighter material , but weighs 2x as much….!

  • Hyok Kim

    Time for combat droid for CQB.

  • Wow!

    By work with medicine, are you maybe in psychology? Because you were supposed to learn about kinetics and equilibrium in your freshman year of inorganic chemistry if you went into biological sciences. At least, the universities in the US tend to have our programs set up that way (not sure now though).

    Like the hockey stick lie? Again, you should learn what the scientific method is and what confounding errors are. Just because you think something is so doesn’t mean it is until you can eliminate all other possibilities. Lot of the meteorological data we have was just gathered in the past few decades. You have to have enough information to make an educated conclusion. Lots of environmentalists jumped the gun and made a bunch of predictions, and every single prediction failed repeatedly. They thought things were changing only because they did not have enough information to compare it to and realize it was the norm. If a baby witnesses its first winter, it may think it is the end of the world. But once he experiences seasonal change over a few years, he realizes it is normal.

    The other thing you don’t realize is that our means of measuring data is very primitive. It is very localized and while statistically you should be able to extrapolate in-between, given the vastness of the earth our predictions generally succumb to Occam’s razor pretty fast. If we can’t predict next months weather with reasonable accuracy, how could any rational person expect anyone to predict a year or a decade of climatic change?