U.S. Army TALOS Exoskeleton to Begin Manned Testing in 2019

An exoskeleton, as envisioned by various companies and military around the world, is a device of sorts meant to give regular humans power beyond their wildest dreams. Incipient versions of an exoskeleton suit are being already used by heavy-lift factory workers or people with some sort of physical disability.
U.S. Army TALOS exoskeleton prototype 1 photo
Photo: Defense News/Jen Judso
But the exoskeleton the U.S. Army is working on is of a different breed entirely. Officially, the contraption is called Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, and is being developed by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOC).

The suit was originally presented five years ago, with the initial estimate being that the first generation of it would be ready for action in one year. By June 2014, three unpowered versions had been delivered, but to this day no manned test of a powered version has been performed.

This would change next year, said the organization’s acquisition chief Jim Smith, according to Defense News, at an industry conference this week.

“Right around this time next year, we will put an operator into a powered exoskeleton and lead the Department of Defense on learning what that really means for operations and what is in the art of the possible,” Smith was quoted as saying by the source.

When ready for combat, the suit would allow the soldier wearing it to perform otherwise impossible tasks. Aside from making them faster and capable of lifting heavier objects, the suit would also protect soldiers thanks to the full-body armor. Combat awareness would be achieved via a series of displays.

The goal of the exoskeleton is to provide troops with enough power and information to drastically reduce casualties during combat operations. Power from it will come from a small combustion engine made only of a shaft and a rotor, that can run at 10,000 RPM and can be extremely quiet.

But the U.S. is not the only country to work on such a technology. Last year, the Russian military revealed it’s version of a combat suit, aiming to fully develop it “within the next couple of years.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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