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Raytheon XOS 2: second generation exoskeleton

The widespread usage of exoskeletal robotics to augment human beings moved a step closer this week when Raytheon demonstrated its second generation Exoskeleton, the XOS 2. The new robotic suit (think of it as wearable robot guided by a human brain) is lighter, faster and stronger than the original proof-of-concept XOS 1, yet uses half the power. While Raytheon's development is primarily focused on military usage, exoskeletons for the mobility-impaired are already at market and industrial exoskeletons from Japan, Korea and Isreal are not far behind. One day in the not too distant future, one of these suits will enable us all to have superhuman strength, speed and endurance.  Read More

AeroVironment's Raven UAS

U.S. forces deployed just 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, but although the potential of surveillance and combat aircraft that don't put pilots in the line of fire has always been clear, few would have predicted just how quickly this technology would transform modern warfare. The proof? The U.S. Army has recently surpassed one million unmanned flight hours and is now using 333 different types of unmanned aerial systems in Iraq and Afghanistan... and the growth curve isn't about to level out.  Read More

U.S. Air Force graphic of the record breaking	X-51A Waverider

Boeing's X-51 WaveRider has made aviation history by completing the longest ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew for almost three and a half minutes in the skies off the southern California coast on Wednesday, reaching an altitude of about 70,000 feet and hitting hypersonic (Mach 5) speeds.  Read More

Oshkosh recently demonstrated the capabilities of its TerraMax unmanned ground vehicles (U...

The ability of military vehicles to better protect occupants with modern designs and high-tech materials has become an increasing priority and UK firm Amsafe has already seen success with its Tarian armor plating in the U.S. Oshkosh Defense, part of the U.S. Marine Corp’s MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected) program, is also heavily involved and a recently-announced armor system took an alternative approach with an emphasis on mobility. Development of its new TerraMax vehicles seems almost flawless in its potential, however, at least in protecting the lives of the soldiers on board because, put simply, there aren’t any.  Read More

Not unlike a Volvo, the Oshkosh M-ATV is boxy, but it's good

The success of MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected) vehicles in saving lives from IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and ambush attacks has seen the US Marine Corp scrambling to accelerate the rate of production by awarding contracts to multiple companies. Oshkosh Defense has now delivered three production-representative MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs) to the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for military evaluation.  Read More

HPM bombsuse an enormous electromagnetic radio pulse to disable computers, electronics, ve...

High-power microwave (HPM) bombs that use an enormous electromagnetic radio pulse to disable computers, electronics, vehicles, guided missiles and communications while leaving people and structures unharmed have been under investigation in research labs for a number of years. Until recently these weapons have been impractically large at over 3.5 meters long, but researchers at Texas Tech University have now built a self powered device with U.S. Army funding that measures 15 cm in diameter and only 1.5 meters long, making it small enough to be considered portable.  Read More

Raven UAV

AeroVironment's Raven UAV system has been used to demonstrate the viability of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as a low-cost surveillance alternative in a continuous 30-hour persistent surveillance test flight. Conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Army Product Manager for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), the demonstration involved unbroken surveillance of a target site using one standard production Raven RQ-11B baseline system (three aircraft and two ground control stations) operated by two-person crews working in eight-hour shifts.  Read More

Mortar Stowage Kit brings automation to the battlefield

Automation offers many advantages regardless of what you're doing, but on the battlefield, it can quite literally be a lifesaver. One of the many interesting exhibits at last week's AUSA Winter Symposium was the M326 120-mm Mortar Stowage Kit. The highly-automated, trailer-mounted system makes it easier for soldiers to quickly set-up and take down a M120 Mortar system on the battlefield, and apart from reducing a physically gruelling team job to the press of a button, the end result is astonishingly quick. The M326 uses an electrical/hydraulic system to hoist the fully assembled 300-pound M120mm Mortar into and out of its trailer and the process is now so quick that soldiers can emplace, fire and stow the system and be on the move again in less than three minutes.  Read More

The Dillon M134 - the second coming of the Gatling Gun

Just over a 140 years ago, Richard Gatling’s famous multiple barrel invention became the scourge of the battlefield with its fearsome firepower and was used by colonising European powers to decimate the warriors of the non-industrialized nations they sought to conquer. Nowadays, the electrically-powered Dillon Aero M134D Minigun is taking the concept to new heights, using six barrels to fire up to 4,000 7.62 MM bullets per minute. As the modular M134D system can be easily adapted to any platform, it is finding favour in a host of new fearsome forms, most notably in the BAE-built Remote Guardian System being tested beneath V-22 Ospreys. Perhaps even scarier is the prospect of the weapon being used aboard the Ripsaw MS-1, a tracked 650-horsepower Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) under development which is capable of accelerating to 50 mph from standstill in around four seconds, turning in its own length and taking a 30 foot high 45 degree hill in its stride. Now is not a good time to be on the wrong team. Proof? Watch this!  Read More

Z800 3DVisor

eMagin's Z800 3DVisor uses two OLED microdisplays to provide wearers with the 3D equivalent of a 105-inch display viewed at 12 feet’s distance. Drawing its power entirely from a USB connection, the Z800 3DVisor integrates the SVGA 3D OLED microdisplays with stereo audio, a noise canceling microphone, and a high-speed headtracker that enables full 360-degree virtual-surround viewing.  Read More

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