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Armor

Military

SOCOM Admiral pushes for Iron Man-style combat suit

The US Navy's top SEAL, four-star Admiral William McRaven, is pushing hard for a modern suit of armor called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). Though not exactly an Iron Man suit, it's that ballpark. As a result, a Broad Agency Announcement has now been issued seeking proposals and research in support of the design, construction, and testing of TALOS, with a basic version hopefully seeing service within three years.Read More

3D Printing

Seahorse tails may hold key to flexible robotic tentacles

The meaning of the word biomimicry is being devalued and inflated, to the point that any technology or design with the vaguest resemblance to something in the natural world tends to have the word unthinkingly applied to it. PR people in the automotive and architectural fields are now particularly fond of the word. So it's refreshing to be able to report on some research that has taken a detailed look at a natural phenomenon, the armor of a seahorse, and thought about how it might be applied in the field of robotics. The researchers think a similar structure of sliding plates could be used to improve robot arms used for underwater exploration and bomb disposal.Read More

U.S. Army conducts parachute test jumps using latest IOTV body armor

If any soldier needs body armor, its a paratrooper making a parachute drop. Unfortunately, standard body armor is too inflexible for paratroopers to use without the risk of being injured upon landing, but the US Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate hopes to rectify this, conducting test jumps with both the latest parachutes and body armor. Read More

Science

Nanofoams could find use in better body armor

Given that scientists are already looking to sea sponges as an inspiration for body armor, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that foam is also being considered ... not just any foam, though. Unlike regular foam, specially-designed nanofoams could someday not only be used in body armor, but also to protect buildings from explosions. Read More

Science

Next-generation body armor could be based on ... sponges?

Chances are that if you were heading into battle, you wouldn’t wish that you were covered in sponges. It turns out that the sea sponge, however, has a unique structure that allows it to be flexible while remaining relatively impervious to predators. Scientists have now simulated this structure, in a lab-created material that may someday find use in body armor. Read More

Automotive

Hail Protector – The external airbag for your car

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, approximately 250,000 cars are damaged by hail every year in the U.S. alone. The average cost of repair comes in at just over US$3,100, so what’s a person to do to protect their vehicle when rain takes the form of ice sculpted golf balls? The obvious solution – airbag the car.Read More

Automotive

Lexani Motorcars builds armored Toyota Sequoia

If you’re looking for a car that can ride out the zombie apocalypse in comfort and money is no object, then Lexani Motorcars has something for you. The company has customized a Toyota Sequoia by adding enough armor to satisfy General Patton and then blinged it out with everything from wine coolers to huge leather seats. The resulting luxury SUV appears to be aimed at people who believe that security concerns don’t mean doing without a cranking infotainment system and a wall to wall flat screen TV.Read More

Science

MIT breakthrough could lead to paper-thin bullet-proof armor

Scientists have theorized that paper-thin composite nanomaterials could stop bullets just as effectively as heavy weight body armor, but progress has been hampered by their inability to reliably test such materials against projectile impacts. Researchers at MIT and Rice University have developed a breakthrough stress-test that fires microscopic glass beads at impact-absorbing material. Although the projectiles are much smaller than a bullet, the experimental results could be scaled up to predict how the material would stand up to larger impacts.Read More

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