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While it may not be quite up to Tony Stark’s standards, DARPA’s Warrior Web suit has the advantage of being real. DARPA has revealed photos and video of an early prototype of its Warrior Web project. Warrior Web is a flexible exoskeleton suit that uses only 100 Watts of power. The goal is to reduce the injuries and fatigue that result from a soldier carrying a typical 100 pound load for extended periods of time. DARPA hopes the exoskeleton will boost the soldier’s endurance and carrying capacity. The DARPA Warrior Web program page provides this description:
The Warrior Web program seeks to develop the technologies required to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries caused by dynamic events typically found in the warfighter’s environment. The ultimate program goal is a lightweight, conformal under-suit that is transparent to the user (like a diver’s wetsuit). The suit seeks to employ a system (or web) of closed-loop controlled actuation, transmission, and functional structures that protect injury prone areas, focusing on the soft tissues that connect and interface with the skeletal system.
The current prototypes are part of what’s know as “Task A” and embody only certain key elements of the final design. Warrior Web Task B, which begins this fall, will attempt to integrate all the Task A technologies into a single suit. For more, visit the Warrior Web Program website or read on to see a video of the Task A prototype suit in action.