DARPA Advances Bionic Suits for Protection
DARPA continues to work to develop an undersuit worn at the ankles, hips, knees and upper body that will protect soldiers from injuries and reduce the physical burden of hauling up to 100 pounds of gear on patrol.
Army officials has partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as the Defense Department seeks to build upon the work of scientists researching the technologies that can augment muscles in the human body.
Thus far, the program called Warrior Web has studied “rapid joint stabilization, functional structures, energy injection, regenerative kinetics, load transfer and distribution and flexible kinetic and kinematic sensing,” according to a DARPA statement.
The program has pushed into the second phase of the program as DARPA looks to push the undersuit system beyond the laboratory and make the undersuit system a reality. In September, companies interested in the program offered proposals to DARPA for future work.
Below is the list of technology areas that DARPA officials sent out this summer to companies and research labs to further develop the suit:
Integrated advanced control systems across multiple joints
Materials, fabrics, structures, sensors, sensor interfaces and human factors associated with developing conforming, assistive wearable technologies
Technologies that significantly reduce the potential for acute or chronic injury of a wearer under typical warfighter mission profile situations
Technologies that increase physical capabilities and/or endurance of humans during activities such as running, lifting, climbing, carrying a load, marksmanship, etc.
Additional assistive wearable technologies for rehabilitation, physical therapy or those intended to help improve quality of life for the aging population.