Soldier of the Future
Raytheon Company’s research facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, is developing a robotic suit for the soldier of tomorrow. The exoskeleton is essentially a wearable robot that amplifies its wearer’s strength, endurance and agility. Reminiscent of super heroes depicted in comic books and Hollywood movies, the bleeding edge technology effectively blurs the lines between science fiction and reality. So much so, that Popular Science magazine recently likened Raytheon’s exoskeleton to the “Iron Man”® depicted in the blockbuster movie of the same name. Built from a combination of sensors, actuators and controllers, the futuristic suit enables a user to easily carry a man on his back or lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring. Yet, the suit, which is being developed for the U.S. Army, is also agile enough to let its wearer kick a soccer ball, punch a speed bag, or climb stairs and ramps with ease.