Originally reported on SensibleReason.com on October 10, 2013
Following thousands of military casualties in the war in Afghanistan, the United States Army announced a new project that will develop Iron Man-like armor for troops to be ready for the battlefield in the next three years, a statement from the Army said.
Commissioned by the US Special Operation Command, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) will provide full-body protection to soldiers while also monitoring certain essential vitals. A quick-thinking computer and smart materials with sensors placed within the suit will detect one’s core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels, adjusting to the environment to maintain correct levels as needed.
The suit will be able to provide heat, air conditioning, and oxygen to help regulate such vitals, and will continue to monitor the health of soldiers even after they’ve been injured, providing aid when necessary.
One program for the suit being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will save the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of soldiers when it installs technology that will spray foam onto open injuriesto stop the bleeding of wounded soldiers.
An exoskeleton skull on the armor will also enhance strength through the use of hydraulics and protect soldiers from virtually any gunfire, even as they are sprayed with dozens of bullets. Plans to include technology that will allot soldiers a360-degree view of the world around them with the extra amenity of night vision and allows them to run faster than they could on their own turns the armor into even more of a superhuman suit.
The US Army is currently requesting the aid of universities, research organizations, private industry, and government labs in submitting ideas and potential solutions to the project.
Scientists and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are in the process of working on a part of the project that will develop body armor that transforms from liquid to solid once a “magnetic field or electrical current is applied,” the US Army statement said. This will protect soldiers in the face of instantaneous gunfire and warfare.
The US Special Operations Command hopes to complete a prototype by next year before working towards a more advanced model to take place in the following two years.
For more information on the TALOS, check out this promotional video from the US Army: