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US Army

The SMSS Block I variant is heading to Afghanistan for a military evaluation

As a result of winning the Project Workhorse Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) competition sponsored by the U.S. Army, four Lockheed Martin Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) vehicles will be sent to Afghanistan as part of a three-month Military Utility Assessment (MUA). The 11-foot-long (3.3 m) SMSS, which can carry more than half-a-ton of a squad’s equipment on rugged terrain, will be the largest autonomous ground vehicle ever to be deployed with infantry.  Read More

Long Distance Tele-Operation technology will allow UGVs such as the TALON robot to be cont...

The U.S. military is currently able to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in far away countries from the U.S., while ground robotic systems such as the TALON can be remotely operated at distances of up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft). Now U.S. Army engineers have provided unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) with the long distance tele-operation capabilities of a UAS to allow them to be controlled from anywhere in the world and keep soldiers even further out of harm’s way.  Read More

Maj. Brian Egloff puts a sock on an 8-year-old Afghan boy to aid the fitting of the protot...

While we’ve covered many developments in the field of prosthetics, such high-tech advances are beyond the reach of those in the developing world where the rates of amputation due to war are highest. Now U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Afghanistan have developed a simple prototype prosthetic leg that can be constructed using local resources to allow the victims of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and land mines to get back on their feet quickly and cheaply.  Read More

Lockheed Martin's ruggedized HULC robotic exoskeleton

Following lab evaluation tests, Lockheed Martin’s ruggedized HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier) robotic exoskeleton is now undergoing biomechanical testing at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts. The biomechanical testing will assess the effectiveness of the HULC in improving the endurance and reducing the risk of injury to soldiers by comparing the performance of soldiers carrying identical loads, both with and without the device.  Read More

The Base Camp System Integration Laboratory, or SIL, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts (Image:...

The U.S. Army has opened a System Integration Laboratory (SIL) at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, modeled after forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to test technologies aimed at creating more energy-efficient base camps. The various energy-efficient technologies being tested are expected to reduce base camp fuel requirements by 20 percent or more and water demand by up to 75 percent.  Read More

Newly-created polymers liquefy and fill in scratches when exposed to UV light, then resoli...

Nobody likes scratches in their car's finish. That's part of the reason why over the years, a number of research facilities have tried to develop self-healing paint. These efforts have resulted in products containing things such as microcapsules that burst open when scratched, elastic resins, and even a chemical derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. Now, scientists from the U.S. and Switzerland have developed polymers – which could be used in paint – that heal their own scratches when exposed to ultraviolet light.  Read More

The Individual Gunshot Detector (IGD) uses the sound waves generated by enemy gunfire to p...

In the heat of battle I imagine things can get pretty hectic and pinpointing just where the shooting is coming from as quickly as possible could mean the difference between life and death. To give its soldiers an edge in this regard the U.S. Army will begin providing its forces in Afghanistan with the first of 13,000 gunshot detection systems later this month. The Individual Gunshot Detector (IGD) uses the sound waves generated by enemy gunfire to instantaneously determine the location and distance toward the enemy fire.  Read More

Robotics company Boston Dynamics has been awarded a contract to develop a military quadrup...

It would be scary to be chased by a military robot. It would also be scary to be chased by a cheetah. So, imagine what it would be like to have a military robotic cheetah sprinting after you. Such a scenario could one day be possible, as robotics company Boston Dynamics recently announced that America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded it a contract to design and build such a ... critter. The contract also includes the creation of an agile, bipedal humanoid robot. It’s hard to say which one might ultimately be creepier.  Read More

Illustration depicting an XM395 Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative round closing in o...

Mortars have existed for hundreds of years, proving extremely useful in World War I where the high angle of flight of the shells made them an ideal weapon for the muddy trenches of the Western Front. The weapon’s simplicity coupled with the ease with which it can be transported and operated means mortars are still in common use today but, although methods of calculating azimuth and elevation angles for targeting have improved, their greatest weakness still remains their lack of accuracy. Mortars are now moving into the 21st Century with U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan set to receive a first-of-its-kind, GPS-guided 120mm mortar munition that can pinpoint targets at ranges of up to 6,300 m (20,669 ft).  Read More

A Patriot Missile system (Image: Darkone via Wikipedia Commons)

Want to learn how to launch a Patriot missile? Turns out there’s an app for that. Incorporating video of actual Patriot Missile crews in action as well as 3D animation and illustrations, C² Technologies, Inc.’s Patriot Missile mobile app trains Patriot missile crews how to position and ready the Patriot missile system to launch and fire. The app is designed to not only provide training for soldiers at any time and any place, but also to offer access to critical information in the field.  Read More

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