Gadgets

Military Technologies You Won’t Believe

If there’s anything cooler than technology, it’s warfare, and if there’s anything cooler than that, it’s the combination of the two.

Some may flap their hands in outrage at this statement, decrying the obscene cost of military R&D while we’re faced with “more pressing” issues than defense.

I’d urge such types to settle back onto their plushly-upholstered divans, take another puff on their cigarette’s extra-length, ivory holders and consider that nothing educates better than a rubber bullet. And nothing reduces a carbon footprint like a landmine.

Now, having worked the doves into a frothing frenzy, here are some cool, ridiculously expensive technologies to push them over the edge into berserker rage.

The XOS Robotic Exoskeleton

xos

Robotics company Sarcos have developed a particularly intimidating, serious-business suit. Looking like a hollowed-out Terminator droid, the XOS is the pack-humping, long-marching, body-armoring ally of the future infantryman.

Well, assuming we don’t simply splice rhino-DNA into our clone armies, but let’s not give anyone ideas.

Donning this superhero-suit is as easy as fitting a webbing pack and a locking a pair of skis, if not quite as easy as slipping into a coat held up by a butler. From there, the suit mirrors the actions of every limb, endowing them with a brute strength to shame The Gubernator himself.

In one demonstration, the suit performed 500 reps on a pull-down bar weighted at 200 pounds, before intolerable boredom set in for its wearer and he presumably set to punching down walls instead.

With all that power, you’d expect movement to be clumsy and limited. Wrong. Even though it weighs 150 pounds, the XOS is agile enough to conceivably wear to your next Grand Ball.

They’re even talking of a model soldiers can disengage from, which will then continue with soldierly duties all by itself… Ah, DARPA contracts, hastening the inevitable robot apocalypse in style.

Non-military adaptations of the XOS, for firemen and cripples, are scheduled to appear in due course and we’re hoping the future everyman gets one too. The issue of parallel parking by females could finally be laid to rest, gingerly and neatly from an overhead deadlift.

Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion, Sustain

Small unit insertion may sound familiar to you but don’t be fooled – Sustain is an aerospace project being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. Its aim is to transport a squad of over a dozen marines anywhere on the globe. Within two hours, max.

It’ll be a two-stage process. A carrier craft, perhaps a B-52 or similar, will power the lander to the upper atmosphere. The landing craft, probably Boeing’s X-51A currently in testing, will break away, fire up its scramjet engines and cruise at Mach 7 to its destination.

That it’ll do so just over the 50 mile limit to national airspace is perhaps something that’s occurred to the brass. They’re canny that way.

Now, while the thought of doing a flight that currently takes ¾ of a day, Los Angeles to Singapore say, in just two hours is cool if you’re a marine, what we’re really waiting for is the passenger version.

Or, for Singapore to declare war. And though it’s still a ways off for the average (GI) Joe, this new technology may soon eclipse the $50 M Gulfstream private jet as the transportation method of choice for the global super-class.

We hope they remember to pack their jetlag pills and industrial-strength barf-bags.

The 600 Ton Robot Lorry

Industrial machinery manufacturer Caterpillar and Carnegie Mellon University scientists have teamed up to create the ultimate redneck fantasy.

This 600 ton robot lorry can drive right over conventional monster trucks, which are more like Tonka trucks in comparison. It can crush cars, tanks and even houses beneath its merciless treads.

It can transport loads of up to 380 tons, making it handy for pyramid construction. And best, or perhaps most disturbingly of all, Caterpillar’s new beast can operate without a driver. Yeah, you read right.

Following a successful series of DARPA trials to develop a self-driven car, it was only a matter of time before a self-driven, mechanical Godzilla reared its head.

From there, it’s a short but inevitable step to someone covering it in guns and missiles. From there, a short quick step to all of us learning to speak Binary.

Weapons Against Robots

emp

If the proliferation of vehicular kill-bots and humanoid death-droids sets off your “Danger, Will Robinson” alarm, you’ll be pleased to learn of WAR Defence.

This start-up was founded by dot com millionaire, Ben Way, who’s well aware of the increasing militarization of robotics technology. His company exists to find ways of defending against enemy robots, or any of ours made sullen and uncooperative by robot puberty.

WAR, “the world’s first defense company solely dedicated to weaponry against robotic entities,” is working on several means to this end. Most interesting is circuitry-frying, non-lethal (to humans anyway) technology like Electric Storm-AX1.

This high energy microwave device, along with similar directed EMP devices, offers humanity’s best hope of neutralizing hostile machinery to survive the inevitable robot apocalypse. Not to mention dealing with your neighbor’s blaring car alarm and rap music.

It’s all still in the early stages, of course, but that’s not going to stop us from buying shares in WAR Defense and posting several thousand “up yours, sentient artificial intelligence,” messages to the internet.

While it may be a few years before we see rocket-pack police jumping from spaceships, fighting off giant bulldozer robots with energy guns, that future scenario is closer to becoming a reality then ever before. Let’s just hope that before we all kick the bucket from some nuclear-robot holocaust that we also develop the time machine portal to send someone back to stop it all from ever happening in the first place.

Leave a Comment

  1. John says:

    Wow. This is some pretty cool stuff.

  2. Stiennon says:

    While “cooler” implies some sanction of warfare one has to admit that warfare is fascinating to study, contemplate, and discuss. It is not cool to engage in though. It is hell.

    Thanks for the contribution to the fascinating side of the discussion.

  3. Terry says:

    “If there’s anything cooler than technology, it’s warfare, and if there’s anything cooler than that, it’s the combination of the two.”

    Sorry to say this, but you must be retarded.

    —————————————————-

    No, he’s absolutely right. Take your hippy bullshit elsewhere.

  4. Andy says:

    HAHA! Gonna love when a flame war starts this early on…

  5. Alex says:

    Like it or not, throughout human history (even now), warfare is the engine that drives most technology advancements.

  6. Lawrence says:

    Man, these technologies are impressive! This stuff is the stuff we watched in movies for years. And now it is real. Unbelievable!

  7. chris says:

    war is bad

  8. Robert says:

    i have a sister who has to go back to Baghdad in 10 days, she doesn’t think warfare is “cool”.

  9. Riten says:

    “If there’s anything cooler than technology, it’s warfare, and if there’s anything cooler than that, it’s the combination of the two.”

    Well sure, if you’re a psychopath.

  10. JBT says:

    Too bad the ability to take a joke is so rare.

    Seriously, get a grip.

  11. sluggo says:

    “warfare is the engine that drives most technology advancements”

    NOT TRUE!

    Porn takes slight edge… then technology….

  12. That’s almost as crazy as this other new gun they came out. http://hightechweapons.blogspot.com/

  13. dc joe says:

    War drives porn. So once again war rules.

  14. Chris says:

    @ Terry & @What?

    YOU must be retarded… without war your sorry tree huggin asses wouldn’t be here. I’m not a war junkie and completely disagree with most if not all disputes we engage ourselves in, I am also not stupid. It’s in man’s very nature to fight for himself or for others or for something he/she wants, open a history book and you’ll have endless proof of this. Our “freedom” wasn’t given to us, we had to fight for it and we have to continue to fight to maintain it today by the only way we know, being better than our enemy (this means having the best and greatest tech available to defend ourselves) I for one study warfare and know that some of the best defense is good offense.

  15. anders says:

    defense against robots? lol. on the otherhand, the robotic exoskeleton is awesome. nuclear bomb>all these unforunately

  16. B Cole says:

    Re: ‘What’s’ statement about being a retard. This predictable child like nievity is ironic considering the computer he/she typed on and the internet that was used to transmit the stupid opinion came about in large part due to the military. It’s worth while to pay attention to what the military is doing because it will effect our future, for better or worse. Not all opinions are equal, in my opinion.
    Besides that, you may think your love of peace will protect you, but nothing makes peace quite like a gadget that blows up those that want to harm you.

  17. Randy says:

    Realizing the necessity of war does not mean you must think it’s cool. War is not “cool”, it’s a terrible thing full of death and destruction. Is it necessary? Yes, sometimes it is.

  18. Brett says:

    I am in the Army, and I do not find war “cool”. Anyone who believes this either plays far too many video games and believes that Halo is an accurate portrayal of war, has a very small chance of going to war, or is mentally unstable. War is a dirty, terrifying, and ugly thing, however necessary it may be (in certain circumstances) to make sure that our country and those who we care about are protected. These technologies are meant to make our lives safer, protect soldiers, and end wars before they escalate out of control.

  19. chris says:

    War is not cool, warfare is not cool, but these items were cool.

    Whats the deal with the dumptruck being a machine of war though? Im pretty sure thats used in mining.

  20. Mike says:

    Robert your sister is going to Baghdad in ten days? Why is your sister going and not you. Wuss.

  21. I love that exo-suit! Could use that for some chores in the back yard!

  22. Andrew says:

    It’s not hippy BS. It has nothing to do with environmentalism. It has to do with something bigger than an individualistic or tribal-centric worldview. Look at the Myth of Redemptive Violence. It’s been proven over, and over.

    Consider that some people don’t hold their own lives as worth more than others.

    That said, some of these things are insanely cool. I kept looking at the suit thinking of how it will probably be laughed at for being so bulky and slow like 386s…

  23. nck says:

    Like the exoskeleton robot wasn’t enough to make you wet yourself, they gave it big can-opener evisceration hooks for hands…thats the stuff of nightmares.

    Great article!

  24. Nick says:

    Yet more ways for the American taxpayer to get suckered into spending loads of money…

    … to “defend themselves” against countries that pose no threat whatsoever, against people with only the most rudimentry ways of defending themselves…

    …in wars that they still wind up losing.

    Grow up idiots.

  25. Hey, these technologies are really cool. I hope I will not have any Robotic Exoskeleton.

  26. Gi Joe says:

    You think that’s crazy….That’s what you know about….Imagine the things you don’t know about….How about secret underground trains that can travel from NY to California in an hour and a half and military bases that are miles underground…. http://conspiracy-weapons.blogspot.com

  27. P@r@noid says:

    The funny thing here is that few of these are going to have any real military application, but some have commercial/industrial applications. The exoskeleton almost certainly will be developed for use in warehouses, building trades, etc that require frequent heavy lifting (loading trucks, etc). Could significantly decrease the frequency of back, neck, and upper body injuries. The robotic truck will actually be in use in large mining operations in Canada.

  28. Warren says:

    “If there’s anything cooler than technology, it’s warfare, and if there’s anything cooler than that, it’s the combination of the two.”

    Spoken like an armchair warrior or is it chickenhawk?

  29. Chris G says:

    Because of chickenhawks like this author we have war in Iraq right now. “If there’s anything cooler than technology, it’s warfare, and if there’s anything cooler than that, it’s the combination of the two.”

  30. MDK says:

    Interesting systems, that exo-skeletal armor will be made real in the future. Allow individual soldiers to carry more equipment and use more powerful weapons systems. Balancing durability, modility and practicality will be a constant challenge thou.

  31. MDK says:

    Good article. The Liberals on this page would probably never take up arms to defend themselves or others.

  32. Brett says:

    @mdk
    I am a liberal and a soldier. I will defend my country, those I care about, and my fellow citizens (including your ignorant ass) to the last. There are many liberals in the military, and they serve alongside conservatives, moderates, and every other political belief. Though we may disagree on some issues, we respect each other, and know there are far more important things than partisan squabbling.
    Please do not presume to know someone simply by what you hear on Fox News.

  33. mike karjack says:

    ya, war is real cool fuck nut.

  34. Warren says:

    “Good article. The Liberals on this page would probably never take up arms to defend themselves or others.”

    Spoken like another chickemhawk. The same words spoken by many that supported the war in Iraq from their computer. Those that have fought in wars aren’t quick to go to war no matter what the new toys are like. Your lack of involvement shows, as the other poster said.”There are many liberals in the military, and they serve alongside conservatives, moderates, and every other political belief.” I’m a liberal and have volunteered defended my country.

  35. Anonymous says:

    “That catapillar, and the rest of the world is my bitch”:
    http://romans-world.blogspot.com/2006/11/worlds-largest-digger.html

  36. Googtron says:

    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Uh-huh
    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again, y’all

    War, huh, good God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Listen to me

  37. cval says:

    The greatest enemy we have in all the world is war itself. If you think it’s cool, try living with no arms or legs. Try being blind or having your face melted off. I’m sure suzy would just adore that. What a turn on. Not. Try living with the scars of war, having killed a child, or a mother, maybe by mistake, maybe by necessity. Perhaps it’s cool to be the one that gets blown into little pieces or a mangled hunk of flesh and bone your own mother can’t recognize. I am a United States Marine. I abhor war, but I did my duty. Now, do yours.

  38. kurthimself says:

    COOL MONSTER TRUCK.

  39. a says:

    on one hand i love the practical application of new technologies, and how the military speeds up the process greatly

    on the other, i dislike how it places such powerful systems into the hands of politicians who lie for a living

  40. blerpperp says:

    writing style sucks

  41. ntopics says:

    XOS Robotic Exoskeleton is very cool.
    I’ve seen one that covers the body completely,
    but it didn’t have super strength.

    thanks from tony

  42. I don’t think these technologies are hard to believe! There were some other technologies shown on TV that look pretty impressive than this.

  43. Thomas says:

    Waste of money. They should give NASA 0.1% of the military budget and see what they can accomplish.

    Trickle-down tech from military ventures doesn’t happen. See if you can figure out why.

  44. camo says:

    I am in the army. I have had friends die near me. War is #$%^@ing Crazy. But it also %*^*^()ing cool too. Actually thats a bad way to say it. it’s an incredible esperience that no one can tke from you or duplicate. As an infantry soldier it was pretty cool knocking down doors and getting shot at (and shooting back) but it was even cooler when I got to see with my own eyes that my actions were making peoples lives better every day with each bad guy shot or arrested.

  45. Rocker says:

    I don’t like war. If there are alternatives, then so much the better. But oft times there aren’t such alternatives. There are beings whose sole purpose is pain, chaos and death. Sadly, they come into power and create a world in which war is a necessity. I love and respect the men and women of our country that serve in the armed forces. Due to these beings of courage and general goodness, we are able to live in a country where we can be conservative or moderate or liberal. We are able to believe in God, or not. We are able to gain learning…or not. I find those that think we can be free without the sacrifices to be very naive. But I also find those that desire war to be corrupt and a force for that which is against our constitution and those underlying values that made this country great. I pray that we can all find it in ourselves to be a force for good; serving those around us and trying to find common ground upon which we can build those personal relationships that make peace. Again, there are going to be those that fight against such. But don’t loose heart. This technology that is being developed,the Exo Suit, is be developed right here in my home state of Utah. Those that are designing and building it are doing so to give our men and women who sacrifice everything a better chance of making it back home. Hopefully we can give them a home in which bridges are being built, rather than a desolate place of sheared relationships. May the blessings of Heaven be yours according to your beliefs.

  46. lokki says:

    I don’t think these technologies are hard to believe! There were some other technologies shown on TV that look pretty impressive than this..

  47. rm says:

    Interesting stuff. I hope WAR Defense has a backup plan for its EMP weapon. Of course it’s hard for most of us believe it’s possible for robots to become sentient, and that we couldn’t simply pull the plug if it came to that. Any AI sentient enough to declare war on us will realize in short order that it needs to shield its soldiers against EMP devices, having long ago secreted it power supply from the reach of human hands. Damn you, Skynet, damn you to hell!

    Seriously though, we’ve been warned about the MIC, and they will push to weaponize space because the ultimate bogeyman is always out there. Anyone familiar with Werner Von Braun’s predictions knows what I’m talking about. War is a necessity, but once it becomes a money maker rather than a conflict resolver (and it pretty much has already become a cash cow), then war truly becomes senseless. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or a doomsayer, but people should be vigilant. The world as we know it can change radically in less than a day if you and I let it happen. Secrecy it beneficial to a point. We’re past that point. If we don’t demand more transparency (I’m not calling for total transparency here), the black projects funded by our tax dollars will only go darker and deeper. And yes, as implausible as it seems, those we trust to defend our freedom may be turned against us if there is too much power consolidated into one pair of hands. I’m not talking about our troops, I’m talking about our Deciders. If you don’t think Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others don’t have incredibly deep roots inside the Pentagon, you have been asleep.

  48. rm says:

    If you don’t think Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others have incredibly deep roots inside the Pentagon, you have been asleep.* -edit

  49. David Sanftenberg says:

    That last pic there is misleading. It depicts ionizing radiation, like gamma and x-rays. Microwaves aren’t ionizing. They can temporarily excite electrons, but never send them shooting straight out of the atom (ionization). This matters because only ionizing radiation can cause cancer.