View Full Version : Starship Troopers, here we come!

02-27-2009, 05:53 PM
Good to see Lockheed Martin has finally solved that infantry weight problem (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a550acabe-cf24-4b42-ba38-c9a1937df63d). ;)

Lockheed Martin has come up with a robotic exoskeleton to help soldiers better shoulder the crushing weight they carry in equipment. The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) was built under an exclusive licensing agreement with Berkeley Bionics, a company that specializes in exoskeleton technology.

According to Lockheed, the HULC will help soldiers carry up to 200 pounds "with minimal effort." It works by transferring weight from heavy loads to the ground via the battery-powered, titanium legs of the lower-body exoskeleton. An onboard micro-computer ensures the exoskeleton moves in concert with the soldier. The HULC's un-tethered hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton allows soldiers to perform a range of motions--deep squats, crawls and upper-body lifting--all with minor exertion, according to Lockheed.

I'm sure once Commanders put out so many requirements that exceed 200 pounds, LM will give you infantry guys a 500 pound version. :eek:

02-27-2009, 06:42 PM
Will it use AA's or D cells?:rolleyes:

Ken White
02-27-2009, 07:06 PM
the new pair a dime...:D

Next up, an exoskeleton to carry Batteries... :cool:

02-27-2009, 07:14 PM
I hear that the leg torsion activators will use hockey-puck batteries, the ankle torsion devices will use those little batteries that go in the M68, the hip torsion devices will use a variant of the batteries used in the RT-1523, and the shoulder, elbow, and back actuators will use variants of the PAS-13 batteries, 9-volts, and the old PRC-77 battery from the good ole days, respectively. This is all, of course, to simplify logistics.

Ron Humphrey
02-27-2009, 07:41 PM
the new pair a dime...:D

Next up, an exoskeleton to carry Batteries... :cool:

Solar powered in the day, Hydro or wind powered by night:D

Ken White
02-27-2009, 07:42 PM
Acquisition chief. You sound like the perfect candidate... :D

02-27-2009, 08:24 PM
I pity the poor guy who has to field test this thing in Afghanistan or Iraq. I hope it won't be me.


Ken White
02-27-2009, 09:25 PM
it'll fail at the worst possible time and since it cost seven gazillion bucks, they'll send two birds with Apache escorts to pick it and you up so they can charge you with an Article 134 violation of some sort (of which you'll be exonerated because the CID Investigators aren't going where you've been...). So it'll all work out okay, they'll take it back to the drawing board and someone else will get to try out the M1A1 version... :cool:

The real problem is the poor guys that have to go try to retrieve the spare battery supply from your trial the extraction crew forgot to pick up... :wry:

02-27-2009, 09:45 PM
Think Tin Man vis a vis Dale Brown novel...

I'd test drive that...

02-27-2009, 09:54 PM
I look at it like my desk. Give me a bigger desk, the more crap I'm going to clog it with.

Ken White
02-27-2009, 10:00 PM
LINK (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fcs_MULE_transport.jpg).

02-27-2009, 11:19 PM
LINK (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fcs_MULE_transport.jpg).

I think I kind of like that transporter.....but.....where's the driver? Or does this thing go all by itself.....on batteries?!?!:rolleyes::D:confused:(running out of smilies, got any more on that transporter?)

Ken White
02-27-2009, 11:26 PM
LINK. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/fcs-mule.htm)

Check the sidebars at that link. You should also be able to Google up plenty of stuff using the ' DCS Mule ' search key. Look up the armed version, too (LINK). (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FCS-MULE-ARV-2007.jpg)...:D

02-28-2009, 09:32 PM
So when exactly are they going to figure out how these exoskeletons are going to fit through doorways?

02-28-2009, 11:10 PM
So when exactly are they going to figure out how these exoskeletons are going to fit through doorways?
Where is your imagination? The solutions is obvious. Create another device for carrying a gigantic breach kit worthy of the exoskelton's glory. If the design team has its ducks in a row, then this device will attach fairly easily to the spare-battery-carrying device. And it will hopefully only require about one squad of Soldiers and three civilian contractors per battalion to maintain it.

Presley Cannady
06-08-2009, 01:31 PM
So when exactly are they going to figure out how these exoskeletons are going to fit through doorways?

I thought the ultimate goal was to produce exoskeletons that made doorways fit around them? ;)

06-08-2009, 03:58 PM
Wait to you actually procure it. Then we'll have to as well in order to maintain 'interoperability'. Only in order to preserve UK jobs, we won't just buy your model. Oh no. We'll build the declassified parts under licence in different small potting sheds in obscure parts of the British Isles, in key electoral constituencies. Then bring in a (US) contractor to work out why they don't work when they're all put together. This will cost 3 times as much as the single unit cost of buying the original. So we'll only be able to buy single figure quantities. We'll get rid of 10 infantry battalions to pay for them, thereby 'doing more with less', in the words of one of our greatest living former madmen. Then, being scarce and precious, they will only be commited to operations in benign environments.
The funding being apportioned, and organisational streamlining actioned, the actual fielding will be delayed indefinitely as part of the next defence review (due to take place any time between dinner time today and 2012). However, maintaining the new production lines and stock will be actioned by selling an improved (halal) variant to various middle eastern regimes, reducing our overall balance of payments. So all in all, another great success.

Perhaps I should swap the coffee for camomile, as the wife suggests...

Red Rat
06-08-2009, 06:45 PM
Hmm. As Coldstreamer points out, a UK version will be expensive, built under licence and almost certainly not fit for purpose - sounds like the Air Force will end up with it!:D

06-08-2009, 07:03 PM
coming up with the acronym "Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC)"?

And it gets better - "built under an exclusive licensing agreement with Berkeley Bionics"...

Would you trust the lives of your soldiers to ANYTHING related to Berkeley?

Ken White
06-08-2009, 07:13 PM
to the point that it doesn't work (in our never ending effort to make it 'joint' and able to also do the laundry and translate Hittite or other languages to English and vice versa...) and hideously expensive but it does come in Desert Tan, Coyote Red, Forest, Sage, Dark Olive, Navy Blue, Marine Red and Gold, Black and of course, Purple. Obsolete NiCad Battery Pack included. An optional and highly desirable Lithium Ion Battery Pack is available. The Fully Mission Capable version in titanium and magnesium * as opposed to the standard polymer construction is also available. All options priced at 3x the original.

* Susceptible to flame and heat damage.

J Wolfsberger
06-08-2009, 07:17 PM
Combat suits don't use doors. They create doors of the appropriate size as needed. Anyway, the technologies described in Starship Troopers are all years away from deployment.

Except for the 30 second bomb. We could do that today and it would be way cool. :D

Billy Ruffian
06-08-2009, 07:57 PM
Not exactly 'powerarmour' (http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Power_armor)now innit?

06-08-2009, 08:36 PM
Since this thing will be controlled by a computer, if the enemy hacked into it, would they be able to make the soldiers wearing it do funky chicken dances?

Umar Al-Mokhtār
06-08-2009, 09:12 PM
the "Robot" :D

Ron Humphrey
06-08-2009, 10:22 PM
Wonder what their gonna use to pull the guy wearing it carrying 500lbs out of the soft soil after leaving the road:wry:

Presley Cannady
06-08-2009, 11:40 PM
Wonder what their gonna use to pull the guy wearing it carrying 500lbs out of the soft soil after leaving the road:wry:


06-08-2009, 11:55 PM

Maybe in the third generations HULCs, yes. The first generation will not be recoverable by any equipment in the US inventory. The first time a soldier gets stuck, they will try to drag him with the winch on a Hemet, which won't work, and then they'll have to hire a local national to come in with a crane while the villagers congregate and laugh at us.

06-09-2009, 02:32 AM
The book was a million percent better than the movie. when it came out, I was learning that putting your hands on the horizontal ropes of a cargo net ladder was not a good Idea. Especially when you were humping a base plate for an 81mm mortar.