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Powered suits in development 
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Post Powered suits in development
This may be a bit off-topic, but it was inspired by a message in the Heinlein Movies thread, where it would have been even more off-topic. Someone talked about the powered suits in Starship Troopers and was lamenting their absence in the film version. Well, it looks as if they may be in development in real life: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7351314.stm

I'd sure be interested in knowing whether the suit developers are familiar with the book.


Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
It's all but certain that someone in the military connected to this project was inspired in some way by Starship Troopers. I was reading a blog last night by a guy who is an ex-military officer who was speaking to a group of young soldiers who recently graduated from boot camp. He asked for a show of hands of everyone in the group who had read Starship Troopers, and almost every hand went up. It's embedded deeply in the U.S. military culture.

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Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:55 am
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
The problem with these suits - be they ST exoarmor or Aliens power loaders - is that there is almost no way to (heh) power them. You'll note that the power in this example comes from big power lines dragged along behind... not a real effective idea for battlefield conditions.

I once worked for a manufacturer of robotic manipulators and with the engineers and knowledge at hand sketched up a real "power loader" design. (Just the thing for taking out the trash!)

It was completely doable with presently available tech... but required a huge hydraulic power unit to operate, almost the size of the "suit" itself. I don't know of any way to miniaturize that kind of power because hydraulics require certain flow rates that even ultra-high pressures can't completely overcome. At best, you could build a suit that worked perfectly, was quite strong... but moved verrrrrryyyyy slowwwwwwlyyyyyy.

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Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:19 am
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
My son told me back in the 1990's that the US Army was also working on powered personal armor.


Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:11 pm
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
TinaBlack wrote:
My son told me back in the 1990's that the US Army was also working on powered personal armor.


Tina,

Black is not such an uncommon name but I had to ask - do you or your dad (or your husband and/or his parents if its a married name) have any English background? And if so, what part of England? My grandparents were from London.

Just curious.


Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:58 am
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
JohnBlack wrote:
TinaBlack wrote:
My son told me back in the 1990's that the US Army was also working on powered personal armor.


Tina,

Black is not such an uncommon name but I had to ask - do you or your dad (or your husband and/or his parents if its a married name) have any English background? And if so, what part of England? My grandparents were from London.

Just curious.


My son has an English background via his grandmother, who was not originally a Black, but a Green. I believe the story of Grandmother doing a family tree, and being proud of being related to English royalty, until she found out that her particular Royal went mad. The only other English connection is that Winston Churchill sent my son's great grandfather a handwritten note thanking him for writing some time after WWII.


Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Powered suits in development
Powered armor will come. We just have to wait for technology to catch up. Sort of like the first nuclear sub being named for the fictional sub that had been "powered by the breaking down of the basic building blocks of matter", the Nautilus. Anyone who would like to read another pretty good fictional treatment of powered armor should read John Ringo's Posleen series.


Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:40 pm
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