14:58 11 October 2013
The US Army is calling on government labs, academia, and technology industry that can help build the Iron Man-style suit that will give its troops “superhuman strength.”
The brief is that it should be designed in a way that soldiers are able to carry large loads much further and the exoskeleton should be made of smart material fitted with sensors to monitor hydration levels, temperature, and heart rate.
Lt Col Karl Borjes, a science adviser at the US Army's research, development and engineering command, said: "The requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armour suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armour, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that.”
"It's advanced armour. It's communications, antennas. It's cognitive performance. It's sensors, miniature-type circuits. That's all going to fit in here, too," he added.
MIT professor Gareth McKinley compared the futuristic armour to that seen in the hit film franchise Iron Man. In an interview with the US news site NPR, he said: "It sounds exactly like Iron Man.”
"The other kind of things that you see in the movies... would be the kind of external suit that Sigourney Weaver wears in Aliens, where it's a large robot that amplifies the motions and lifting capability of a human."