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January 24, 2007

Bear-suit inventor makes bullet-proof body armor exoskeleton

Halosuit

The dude who designed the bear-attack prevention suit is applying his inventing talents to protect troops in the field.

Geekologie explains:

The suit is called Trojan and the inventer describes it as the "first ballistic, full exoskeleton body suit of armour" and he hopes to get it deployed for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and US soldiers in Iraq. The suit has stood up to an elephant gun, and is made from high-impact plastic lined with ceramic bullet protection over ballistic foam. Included in the suit are compartments for emergency morphine and salt, a knife and emergency light. Built into the forearms are a small recording device, a pepper-spray gun and a detachable transponder that can be swallowed in case of trouble. The whole suit comes in at 18 kilograms and covers everything but the fingertips and the major joints, and could allegedly be mass-produced for about $2,000. Plus, if you saw an army of these things coming at you you wouldn't even fight. You'd just give up and pray the space robots haven't come to anally probe you.

All that for a mere two grand? If I ever report from a combat zone, I want one of these. It would be hard to be unobtrusive, but being bullet-proof is probably better than being inconspicuous. Although, 18 kilograms is almost half my body weight, so it might not be very practical for getting those action shots.

Comments

I'm about 45 kg, but I'm only 5'2''.

"I disagree. Lethality isn't the only concern when dealing with injuries. Every time you have a soldier that's wounded, that's a soldier who isn't fighting, and who is, potentially, bringing down morale."

On the morose side, I believe it was during the Vietnam war that land mines were reduced in their lethality. It was considered more effective to wound a soldier than to kill one. Wounding an enemy tied up more resources.

I don't think the idea is that someone will march from Normandy to Berlin in a get-up like this. I think the idea is that you fly in and ride in a humvee and get out and fight when you need too.

One advantage of a suit like this is that it allows a soldier to be slower to pull the trigger. If 8 out of 10 people around you are people you don't want to shoot, it helps to have bullets bounce off you while you decide who is whom. Whether or not soldiers actually do that though would be a matter of training and discipline.

"Although, 18 kilograms almost half my body weight, "

I dated a 77 lb girl in college. Well, one date counts as dating. She was quite tiny, about 4'10". I was under the impression that you were bigger than that. How I got that impression just from photos of you in isolation is a mystery to me though.

Apparently many readers assume that I'm taller than I really am. People say that a lot when they meet me. I'm very pleased about that. At least I can be tall on the internet.

The other problem with this armor is the camouflage factor. I don't think that I'd want to stick out that badly in any war zone.

I want one. And how about low-tech chain mail around the exposed joints? Won't do much against a direct shot, but it might be effective against shrapnel.

I want one. And how about low-tech chain mail around the exposed joints? Won't do much against a direct shot, but it might be effective against shrapnel.

"The other problem with this armor is the camouflage factor. I don't think that I'd want to stick out that badly in any war zone."

I think this one is all made up to mimic the "Halo" computer game. So I don't know that the "real-life" version would look the same.

If it is all the bumps and protuberances better serve some purpose.

"only 5'2''"
Airline seating is designed with you in mind. Now there's a blessing you can count!

It looks good on paper but appears totally impractical. It's too heavy and looks like it would severely impair mobility. Probably far too hot for desert use also. There were numerous early accounts of troops in Iraq not wearing complete body armor for those reasons. The Army has since done their best to quash any reports of body armor problems.

Quick insertion/extraction ops with copters/humvees are limited to specific use and may have weight restrictions. Additionally, US forces in Iraq are undersupplied with humvees. Copter maintenance has been problematic due to the desert conditions. The Army was woefully unprepared for the amount of damage copters received from small arms fire.

98 lb weakling! Try to bulk up girl.

Apparently many readers assume that I'm taller than I really am. People say that a lot when they meet me. I'm very pleased about that. At least I can be tall on the internet.

I tend to project my height onto everyone else, which causes me to systematically overestimate women's height. I thought Jessica Valenti was tall based on pictures of her standing beside Jill and Vanessa...

98 lb weakling! Try to bulk up girl.

Hey, I think I weigh about 53-54 kg, and I have a good six or seven inches on Lindsay.

This suit is a solution searching for a problem. Better not to get into idiot wars like this one, better not to have idiot laws that regularly require SWAT teams to break into homes with no-knock warrants, least the "evidence" be flushed down a toilet.

But of course, people would rather hope for bullshit technical solutions, than consider the possibility that they have some really stupid habits (this applies equally well to Bush's idiot proposals for conserving energy -- pray for a technological pony, or just downsize/hybridize our existing cars a bit? Bush chooses the pony.)

The suit is definitely too heavy to wear. I do a lot of backpacking and am very concious of weight and how it effects movement. Eighteen kilos is more than I carry including a week's worth of food. It can not be very practical.
I dated a girl that weighed fifty kilo's and thought she was small. Of course, my love of beer has pushed me over 100 kilos. So lots people seem a bit small.

Let me just say that it offens my sense of national pride to see that this ridiculous and impractical display of military excess-for-the-sake-of-excess was invented by a Canadian.


We cannot allow an exoskeleton gap!

If I ever report from a combat zone, I want one of these. It would be hard to be unobtrusive, but being bullet-proof is probably better than being inconspicuous.

That's what the

The comment was supposed to be, "That's what the North Hollywood bank robbers thought, too."

http://www.answers.com/topic/north-hollywood-shootout

I see that everyone has forgotten that there is already at least 1 project to study motorized exoskeleton components. As in, "Let's really build what Heinlein was talking about!" The energy source, though, hmm. That's the real toughy, not the weight of the damn thing.

"The suit is definitely too heavy to wear. I do a lot of backpacking and am very concious of weight and how it effects movement. Eighteen kilos is more than I carry including a week's worth of food. It can not be very practical. "

An infantryman is expected to march long distances with a 60 lb load (27 kg). Specific missions sometimes require 100 pound loads (45 kg), though I just can't imagine going very far with that burden. I had to carry 2 50 pound bags of cement about a 1/2 mile. It seems easy at first, but it saps you quickly.

Just joking, Lindsey. I'm sure your many fans will fight anyone who kicks sand in your face.

Oh, yeah! See, I'm a pretty serious martial artist, and in addition to the empty hand stuff they teach you in Aikido, there's a lot of Sword training. This thing would just be SOOOOOOOO dope with a Katana strapped to the hip. If it's really only $2000, I want this for next Halloween.

This may be too heavy for the average soldier, in relatively good physical shape to carry up a flight of stairs or run around in without taking more rest stops.

What about the tougher than average soldier? Someone who's spent maybe 4-5 years in strength training? I wouldn't think 80 pounds of armor would be difficult when you have 80 more pounds of muscle.

This is a great idea. Granted it is to heavy to make good use right now but what about in 5 years? As for its uses I don't think it will be of its full value for firefights but rather as a bomb suit for IED's and as a special ops suit.
I can see elements of the suit making it to the GI's. like the Chest part.

ha! I'm already on the waiting list, if i can run 5 k with a 190lb log
on each shoulder then this suit is going to be like wearing my normal clothes, shit your all weak city people if you find that heavy.


im only paying $2,800 for it, and i think its worth it, im a merc, and
in my line of work id rather be safe than sorry.

Super size it make it transform into a humvee with room for an assault team in the butt and you have something there.

No really, I looks to us like the first tanks must have looked to the people of their tome and might function in the same ways. The concept of having armor like this has merit in specific applications rather than a general grunt apps. like has been suggested.

Bomb/IED/minesweeping units, Warrant/targeted capture units, tactical members of special forces units.....Just as no one gun is right for every use dose that mean it should be excluded from Americas arsenal?

Also the concept of needing to mostly protect against lethal quick kills in battle is flawed. The solder that looses a kneecap is, as has been mentioned before, a battlefield liability taking up resources but also a depletion of over all resources. If war is about enemy attrition, and I believe it is, the goal is not necessarily to destroy the enemy but to deaffectualise them. The solder that gets a leg blown off in an IED is not only a battlefield attrition of resource but lost to future combat use, At least until we are debating the new cybernetic limbs that some one has created. Losses of this nature add up to an attrition of military effectiveness overall.

In an age of the voluntary professional military we are faced with a finite number of military combatants before instituting a compulsory system, political suicide. Retention of combat solders is hard enough already with out large numbers of permanently disabled vets and a callous disregard for their Total protection.

The armor is not perfect nor is it a "magic bullet" but it is worth development.

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