By Michael Zola (Tech Editor).
After the summer of 2015, the image of the soldier was set to change. Robot Exoskeletons have been created to enhance the abilities of an average American soldier.
The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, also known as TALOS, is a robotic exoskeleton that is being designed by the US to be bulletproof, weaponized, has the ability to monitor vitals and give the wearer superhuman strength and perception.
Senior Ryan Litner says that the development of this suit a good thing.
“I think that it is a good thing that the US is stretching the limits of human potential while also trying to create a safer world for its inhabitants,” said Litner.
The TALOS was created mainly to give operators in a vulnerable position the upper hand. For example, if the operator is breaching a door, then the suit will protect them. It was built to protect the most vulnerable team operator in that situation.
Puneet Motiwala, a senior at SHS, says “I think the new exoskeleton idea is pretty cool, but if it gets in to the wrong hands it could be catastrophic if people use the suits for the wrong reason,” said Motiwala.
Senior Wesley Fixler says that he doesn’t doubt the capabilities of the technology.
“I have not heard of the TALOS, but I have heard of the Kinetic Operations suit. These new advances in technology are definitely bringing humans the greater heights,” said Fixler.
The Kinetic Operations Suit, similar to the TALOS, is an exoskeleton that supports a body armor system capable of stopping rifle rounds that surrounds 60 percent of the operator, compared to 18 percent with current armor vests. It has undergone live-fire testing, and has successfully performed the same tasks as currently outfitted operators in similar amounts of time.
Officer Hocking says he doesn’t know anything about these suits.
“I have never heard anything about these suits before. I didn’t even know it was possible to make them,” said Hocking.
Although the prototype came out this year, TALOS has one weakness. For the Army’s TALOS, the weak spot is either the need to carry around a heavy pump for a hydraulic system, or lots of heavy batteries.
The power source may not be available for a few decades, but another advanced model is on track to come out before 2018.