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Posted: 1/17/2002 9:17:38 AM EDT
Powered Exoskeleton, Troop Testing http://www.discover.com/feb_02/feattech.html
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:19:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:21:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Starship Troopers. Those who read good Sci-Fi are seldom surprised by the future.....
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What does "Starship Troopers" have to do with "good Sci-Fi"? [;)]
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:26:18 AM EDT
"Starship Troopers" Lousy movie, good blowup film. [b][i]Excellent[/b][/i] book. Hugo [i]and[/i] Nebula winner, I think.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:46:51 AM EDT
The battlefields of the future will be littered with dead batteries.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:53:42 AM EDT
We are living during a historical turning point my friends. Before Science Fiction was based on science, or science that was emerging. Now science is based off idea's an concepts started by science fiction. I was only 6 when the first Bush was president, and he launched something called the Space Exploration Initive. I was told at one of the countless NASA museums I went to and documentories I watched that the space station would be done by 1999 and that we would be building a permanant base on the moon now. That never happpened and I am very, very pissed about that. Stuff like this is exactly what we should be doing!
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 9:55:34 AM EDT
this is a cool site [url]www.darpa.mil/dso/thrust/md/Exoskeletons[/url]
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 10:11:03 AM EDT
I pity the fool who gets his ass stuck in one of those. I don't even enjoy greasing an articulated tractor every day, and that's only got articulation in the the x-y plane. Add the z-axis in, and things get a little more complicated yet. I think that it's interesting R&D and might have applications in relatively clean environments. OTOH, I recall seeing a forklift and a load blasted all over the place after the gussets on the fork failed and dumped the load. What happens when extended wear and materials fatigue set in, you try to lift some absurd object, and your exoskeleton s$%^ts the bed? Like I said, I think that this is a fine "vacuum of space" or warehouse, special use item. But in high grit environments, I remain to be impressed.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 11:00:26 AM EDT
Well, if they keep hanging more and more hardware on the grunt, they're going to have to go to a powered exoskeleton just to carry the burden. "Littered with dead batteries" [:D] Good one!
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 1:48:11 PM EDT
I hear the Stephen Hawking was a beta tester for the suit. [img]http://graphics.theonion.com/pics_3123/stephenhawking.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 2:24:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: What does "Starship Troopers" have to do with "good Sci-Fi"? [;)]
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I guess you would have to read to know.[rolleyes] -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 2:28:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 2:39:41 PM EDT
I guess the soldiers will have to totally go limp and relax. I couldn't imagine what that apparatus would do to a body that was resisting it's movement. I would also think that using one of these suits for too long would resut in a loss of muscle mass.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 3:07:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Velveeta:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: What does "Starship Troopers" have to do with "good Sci-Fi"? [;)]
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I guess you would have to read to know.[rolleyes] -Velveeta
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Exactly correct. The book and movie only share the same name, and very, very little else. Read the book.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 3:22:08 PM EDT
[url]http://www.discover.com/feb_02/feattech.html [/url] YESS!!![:D] But its not troop testing, its prototype testing. This is a XM prefex model. The hard thing is to AVOID BATTERIES. Use a fuel cell that runs off of diesel or a small internal combustion engine and generator. Although a battery backup that would allow a few minutes of silent operation could be useful.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 3:45:38 PM EDT
Great, so that means that not only do I look like some mechanical dung beetle with this suit, but I also have a big fat heat signature what with the fuel cell. Unless this thing allows incredible mobility, which is going to be incredibly energy consumptive, it is always going to be vulnerable. It's not going to provide great armor. In fact, apart from allowing a soldier to support heavier weapons systems, what does this suit offer? Greater heat signature, greater dependence on resupply and a possible dissociation from reality. Is this suit going to withstand .308 AP? Up the ante to .50cal. H Comparing the OICW to the SuperSuit, I actually start to think that the OICW looks sexy. Look everyone, I have a simple solution to getting more performance out of soldiers and it is called METHAMPHETAMINE.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 3:55:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2002 3:56:14 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:08:19 PM EDT
raf, I'll agree with you if you can 1) tell me what this suit can accomplish in the field in terms of reducing my signature while increasing my performance. If we have weapons that can take on ground and air craft at high speeds, then this suit is also killable. And expensive. 2) if you or anybody else can point me to information showing that actuation technology is about to progress to the point where an extremely articulated system in a gritty environment will be fine. Frankly, any mechanical device that I can't bail off of or throw away scares me. I am no engineer or expert, and I try to keep an open mind, but this one looks like it's being marketed for the wrong job.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:17:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:30:59 PM EDT
If a widely deployed effective combat exoskeleton is developed at the infantry level within the next 15 years, I'll concede defeat; you win. I would be very suprised if the exoskeleton turns out to have the same impact that the Wright Flyer had. Do you think this would have helped out our troops in the streets of Somalia or Afghanistan? If you do, tell me how.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:43:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:53:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By raf: Starship Troopers. Those who read good Sci-Fi are seldom surprised by the future.....
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What does "Starship Troopers" have to do with "good Sci-Fi"? [;)]
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You have to read the book. Once you do you will be pissed. First because of the shitty movie, second because they could have made a killer movie instead. The way the suit is described and used in the book makes total sense. .
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 4:56:24 PM EDT
I don't know, but I think that metalurgy could make a hell of a exoskeleton. Carbon fiber/Kevlar/Titanium Exoskeleton. LIGHT. 40MPH Ground Speed for a human being. But doesn't confine movement. Stop .50Cal. Sounds pretty cool to me, but I know that getting there is going to be where all the work is. I think they can do it. Benjamin
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 5:05:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 5:13:48 PM EDT
raf is right on the money here. Think human ingenuity. Think long term. Thing about hydrogen fuel cells, that give almost unlimited power. Think a solar cell backup skin. Think instant ejecting of the suit from the rear. Think about built in cooling systems, internal and external, for zero heat signature. Think about a human being able to run faster, farther, carry more, cover more ground, with built in tools for scanning, and life support. Dont think that's possible? That's exactly what tanks, trucks, jets, and helo's have allowed us to do. Just as electronics get smaller and smaller every year, so will our machines of war be able to. I think this is an excellent application. Granted, I think more of the battles of the future will be battles of unmanned electronic gizmos, and whoever has the most money will win.... but why not dream?
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 5:37:11 PM EDT
As for the question about Somolia, how about a suit with a mini-gun and and few thousand rounds of ammo. For situations like this with low tech foes, it would be perfect. They would have mowed down the sammies. Constant night vision, not to mention the suit may have had the tools to get the trapped bodies out of the bird.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 5:37:47 PM EDT
I think about long term, but I also think about grit. I don't like grit, it fucks things up! Gotta go! More later, but I see what you're getting at.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 6:41:54 PM EDT
You guys are thinking too long term, think about just using the exoskeleton to take the weight off the grunt's legs. Imagine if they integrated a weight bearing/movement assisting exoskeleton (just the legs, really) along with a steady-cam type harness (like used by the two Marines in Aliens who carried the dressed up 1919s, obviously it would have to be modified so the troops could go prone easily) and an heavy machine gun (such as the 1919 or the MG240). The exoskeleton would allow the troops to carry several hundred extra rounds of belted ammo, while making the MG as easy to move as an M4, because the steady-cam harness takes the weight and transfers it to the exoskeleton. Now think about the firepower that 12 soldiers so equipped would have, with each one carrying a .30cal machine gun and 1000+ rounds of ammo. That sure beats the hell out of the ~300 rounds of .223 and an M4 current special ops guys carry. Beef it up some more, and a few guys could even carry an M2 or an MK19... Kharn
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 6:47:28 PM EDT
Kharn, you thinking too small! Think Mini-gun with a 2000 round drum. Or an automatic grenade launcher. You would only need a few. The rest of the guys would be there to support and protect these guys.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 7:55:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2002 7:59:05 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By Velveeta:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: What does "Starship Troopers" have to do with "good Sci-Fi"? [;)]
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I guess you would have to read to know.[rolleyes] -Velveeta
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Yeah, after jogging my memory a bit, I do recall reading it in middle school some 20-25 yrs ago. Didn't make much impression on me then I suppose (maybe I wasn't in the "right" frame of mind for it then), or I guess I was only 12 then and just read books like some people eat chips. Anyhow, I guess I'll find a copy and re-read it to see what all this buzz is really about. [b]Oh, and Velveeta... I'd see a doctor about that nasty nystagmus you've got - that could be the reason you have so much trouble getting dates.[/b]
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 10:49:27 PM EDT
I want one for my own use. This beats a quadrunner 9 ways till sunday. This version you see here is the Light version. It isnt intended to be bulletproof. Any increase in protection comes from it allowing the soldier to wear class 4 breast and back plates. It just allows the soldier to carry the 100 pounds of crap we ask our people to carry these days, at a decent speed, without collapsing from heat exhaustion plus providing a chassies and power supply to hang the Land Warrior gizmos onto. They arent trying to make a real Powered Armor-yet. That would have to be fully enclosed. But after they play with these for a while the probably will get to a fully enclosed unit. They have to convince a lot of skeptics that they can make this work in the first place. The fully inclosed unit, has to be where they are headed, because only it can offer what soldiers really need. NBC, temperature, and grenade/RPG shrapnel protection. Existing NBC suits are clumsy, easily punctured, and kill their wearers through heat exhaustion.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 4:17:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Yeah, after jogging my memory a bit, I do recall reading it in middle school some 20-25 yrs ago. Didn't make much impression on me then I suppose (maybe I wasn't in the "right" frame of mind for it then), or I guess I was only 12 then and just read books like some people eat chips.
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What the heck good is reading a book if you can’t recall anything in it? You made a snotty comment because all your information seems to come from the movies and Xena and I just pointed out that there is more information than that out there. Touchy, touchy!
Anyhow, I guess I'll find a copy and re-read it to see what all this buzz is really about.
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I have not read it in over 10 years, but it is a short fast read. It is almost a short story really.
[b]Oh, and Velveeta... I'd see a doctor about that nasty nystagmus you've got - that could be the reason you have so much trouble getting dates.[/b]
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Just giving back to you what I get from you. You want to play an intellect on the Internet, fine. You just might have to eat some humble pie along the way to your Star Trek conventions big boy. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 5:51:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Velveeta: What the heck good is reading a book if you can’t recall anything in it? You made a snotty comment because all your information seems to come from the movies and Xena and I just pointed out that there is more information than that out there. Touchy, touchy!
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If I could recall EVERY book I ever read in my life, I'd probably be a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute. "Snotty"?! Obviously you need a primer on what "[;)]" means.
Originally Posted By Velveeta: You want to play an intellect on the Internet, fine. You just might have to eat some humble pie along the way to your Star Trek conventions big boy. -Velveeta
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"humble pie", "Star Trek conventions", "big boy"?! Where do you come up with this stuff - it's [u]BRILLIANT[/u]!! I commend you on your razor sharp wit. Now I know what a true intellect sounds like.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 9:22:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: "humble pie", "Star Trek conventions", "big boy"?! Where do you come up with this stuff - it's [u]BRILLIANT[/u]!! I commend you on your razor sharp wit. Now I know what a true intellect sounds like.
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Too bad you will not be able to remember.... -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 9:48:27 AM EDT
Armor by John Steakley.......It is Starship Troopers written the way John wanted to write it. I know Steakley and I hope he publishes another one soon. Read Vampire$ also....
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 10:34:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Shadowblade: Anyone here read the book "Armor" by John Steakley? Great book that deals with this subject (fiction). SB
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Great book! A military Sci-Fi must read.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:02:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Velveeta: Too bad you will not be able to remember.... -Velveeta
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Believe me, I'm TRYING to forget you.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:39:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2002 10:53:56 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Ok, its taken a while, but I finally found the webpage I was looking for. Take a look at these drawings from the 1988 Japanese production of "Starship Troopers". This is what the builders of exoskeletons must ultimately aspire too- with the possible exception of the jump jets, unless operating in zero G somehow becomes a military necessity. This is a fully enclosed suit, with decent ballistic protection. More important is the complete protection offered against nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons without worring about your suit tearing on a treebranch. Also the wearer is protected against most flame weapons- thermite would be a exception- as well as natural fires and smoke. The suit has heating, cooling and hydration systems so the wearer will not get heat stroke when operating in Saudi in midsummer, nor will he freeze to death in mid winter in the Arctic or Central Asia. [center][img]http://www.trooperpx.com/Internat/imginter/SSTManga/OpenHatch.gif[/img][/center] More sketches:[url]http://www.trooperpx.com/Internat/imginter/SSTManga/BlueprintA.gif[/url] [url]http://www.trooperpx.com/Internat/imginter/SSTManga/BlueprintB.gif[/url] top and bottom:[url]http://www.trooperpx.com/Internat/imginter/SSTManga/BlueprintC.gif[/url] Drawings courtesy of [url=http://www.trooperpx.com/AFS/AFS01.html]TrooperPX.com[/url]
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 12:27:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmedLbrl: Also the wearer is protected against most flame weapons- thermite would be a exception-
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I recall on the news a few years ago, some hairdresser from England claimed to have invented a plastic that could protect against extreme -- even nuclear -- heat. His demo, on some nighttime talk show, was to take an egg, dip it in the plastic, apply a blowtorch for a minute or so, and then show that the egg was raw. I wasn't too sure I believed it even after watching that, but just in case -- was this real, or was it a hoax?
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 12:35:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2002 1:28:01 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
Originally Posted By ArmedLbrl: Also the wearer is protected against most flame weapons- thermite would be a exception-
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I recall on the news a few years ago, some hairdresser from England claimed to have invented a plastic that could protect against extreme -- even nuclear -- heat. His demo, on some nighttime talk show, was to take an egg, dip it in the plastic, apply a blowtorch for a minute or so, and then show that the egg was raw. I wasn't too sure I believed it even after watching that, but just in case -- was this real, or was it a hoax?
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Probably was a hoax. I havent seen anything like it on the market recently. No the suit would do things the old fashoned way, metal and other non-flamable materials inbetween the operator and the bomb. Burning petroleum or wood wouldnt bother the suit operator. He can even turn off the outside air (for a while). But it wouldn't work if someone decided to immerse the suit in magma or molten steel or something like that. My favorite variant of the power suit idea is this design from Masamune Shirow's [i]Appleseed[/i] comic, called a Landmate. [center][img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PGt5hMCoBQIAAFemT3Y_1299_23.pjpeg[/img][/center] It is larger, and doesnt try to be WORN like a old suit of armor. Rather the pilot is riding it like a motorbike or small ATV.[center][img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PGt87sCoBQIAAFfQlB0_1299_25.pjpeg[/img][/center] This suit would be about 3m/9ft tall, and in that size range it would be easier to find power plants and enviromental control systems that would fit, and still leave room for all the electronic goodies that they wanted to put in the Land Warrior program. The technology is the same as SARCOS's exoskeleton though in that movement of the limbs is accomplished by tracing the movements of the operator in a "master/slave" fashon.[img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PGt9m8CoBQIAAFfQlFw_1299_26.pjpeg[/img] The operators arms and legs are, however not in the same place as the suits arms and legs. This allows for a more favorable outcome if they step on a land mine, or grab a booby trapped object, or stick their head around the corner at a inappropriate time. The arms, heads, and lower legs can be sacraficed without the operator loosing his or her own- or their lives. It would also allow for mounting a larger, more powerful set of arms, without worrying about what to do with the operators own arms. [center][img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PGt7n8CoBQIAAFehRqo_1299_24.pjpeg[/img][/center] One of the things that suits like this have to watch for are things like RPG's and 40mm HEDP grenades. There is no way to armor something this small with THAT much protection. However, suits like this can carry shields which they can use to detonate the shape charge warheads of infantry anti-armor weapons prematurely. With the Shirow's Landmate design the suits big arms could even be sacrifced in a emergency.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 5:58:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: I recall on the news a few years ago, some hairdresser from England claimed to have invented a plastic that could protect against extreme -- even nuclear -- heat. His demo, on some nighttime talk show, was to take an egg, dip it in the plastic, apply a blowtorch for a minute or so, and then show that the egg was raw. I wasn't too sure I believed it even after watching that, but just in case -- was this real, or was it a hoax?
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I do not remember the Nuclear heat part but I do remember this gentleman/product. A few of the US shows did pieces on it as well. They showed how it could stand up to a flamethrower and how many lives it could save from fires. It never heated up so that you could not touch it either. I never saw anything that said it was a hoax but I have never seen a single product made out of it. If it is/was real the British government probably would have confiscated it for national security reasons. I would love to know more about this though. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:11:12 PM EDT
Along the same lines, the book The Forever War by Joe Haldeman also introduced the concept of the powered suit. That's a great book, by the way. If it were FAITHFULLY adapted to the big screen, it would be a knock-em-dead movie that would probably take Best Picture and other awards. Check it out if it's at all possible. Exoskeletons WILL be developed, and they WILL eventually achieve a point at which they're practical and effective. They're probably also going to be nuclear powered. Specialized versions for air, space, land, and sea duty will all be developed in time. The anthropic loader used in Aliens provides a glimpse into the near future. That technology is easily realized NOW. Some people call it science fiction. I know better. It's science PREDICTION. Compare what we deal with in our daily lives as compared to what there was at the turn of the 20th century, and there can be no doubt of this. Starship Troopers is a fun 'check your brain at the door' popcorn flick, but the original book was MUCH more interesting and is highly recommended reading, as is MOST of Robert A. Heinlein's work. CJ
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:18:25 PM EDT
Oh, yes... I should mention that a core technology for a future powered suit has already been developed. Some years ago, a group of scientists developed a piezoelectric 'muscle' which closely mimics the operation of human muscles, and could generate much greater than human strength with a small unit, with reasonable power consumption. The 'muscle' is flexible and resembles a piece of cylindrical silicone rubber, and a piece the diameter of a pencil can generate 150 lbs. of contractile force under normal conditions. It's HIGHLY adaptable to the field of bionics, since it acts like a real muscle and is less bulky than the real thing. Like a real muscle, it also gets thicker when it contracts, so it could even be made to LOOK real. It's a very promising technology. Look for it. CJ
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:20:23 PM EDT
Shadow. I've read Armor too. Great book. We could use a Felix or two....
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:37:01 PM EDT
Found some interesting links on those electric muscle things. [url]http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov/nasa-nde/lommas/eap/spie-eap.html[/url] [url]http://www.erg.sri.com/publications/10673-PA-00-087.pdf[/url] [url]http://www.cis.plym.ac.uk/cis/InsectRobotics/Actuators.htm[/url] This one came up and is only mildly related... robotic dragonfly with possible military purposes... [url]http://www.redherring.com/mag/issue84/mag-fly-84.html[/url]
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 7:10:40 PM EDT
The exoskeleton could serve as a sort of personal armored personnel carrier: not something to ride into the line of fire, but a better way to "get there firstest, with the mostest". Imagine this: A platoon of American soldiers in Kashmir (2025 AD) is told that they are to ambush a Pakistani column that will be moving through a nearby mountain pass in four hours. The problem is, weather conditions won't let them fly, the terrain is too steep for a wheeled or tracked vehicle and there's no way they can march that far that fast at high altitude with a full load of weapons and ammo. So they climb into their exoskeletons, load up with 60 kilos of gear apiece, and trot off at 15 kilometers/hour. When they get within 500 meters of the objective, they dismount, hump the essential gear the rest of the way, and set up their ambush.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 8:15:32 PM EDT
have anyone here ever played Fallout 2? Remember the Advanced Power Armor? Now if only they'll add a jetpack, lol.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:14:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed: The exoskeleton could serve as a sort of personal armored personnel carrier: not something to ride into the line of fire, but a better way to "get there firstest, with the mostest". Imagine this: A platoon of American soldiers in Kashmir (2025 AD) is told that they are to ambush a Pakistani column that will be moving through a nearby mountain pass in four hours. The problem is, weather conditions won't let them fly, the terrain is too steep for a wheeled or tracked vehicle and there's no way they can march that far that fast at high altitude with a full load of weapons and ammo. So they climb into their exoskeletons, load up with 60 kilos of gear apiece, and trot off at 15 kilometers/hour. When they get within 500 meters of the objective, they dismount, hump the essential gear the rest of the way, and set up their ambush.
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That is pretty much all that is being asked of the exoskeletons at the present. Their missing a chance though. If they were just willing to make it a few feet bigger, I think they would have better success given the technology available in the near term. They could get everything they wanted from Land Warrior plus some. It gets mighty cold in the Kashmirs in winter, and everyone on all sides has WMD's now. Kind of be more comfortable and a lot safer with a enclosed suit. Even without the WMD's theres frostbite and altitude sickness to deal with. With a enclosed suit you can fit it with a parafoil and perhaps a jet pack or a propfan and kick them out the back of a C17 flying ABOVE the storm. Right into the area, strait from the USA.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:18:33 PM EDT
Starship Troopers was one the the first Sci Fi books that made an impression on me. Excellent book. But you are all thinking inside the box. The evolution of this technology will result in unmanned drones, Robots. The airforce is already going that way. The politics of low or zero casualty war is too attractive for our government to ignore.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 10:03:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BillofRights: Starship Troopers was one the the first Sci Fi books that made an impression on me. Excellent book. But you are all thinking inside the box. The evolution of this technology will result in unmanned drones, Robots. The airforce is already going that way. The politics of low or zero casualty war is too attractive for our government to ignore.
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Not quite. AI isnt good enough to do complex tasks like combat by itself. And drones still require a pilot. Wherever said pilot is, that becomes the prime target. Only so long as war stays at smacking down fuzzy wuzzies in third world countries will that work. The use of drones will continue to expand, but the best use of them is to combine them with manned combat vheicles. That way the real target- the human controller- is protected. We have been spending the last decade plus proving that bunkers and such are no protection anymore. Only a mobile, hardened, fighting platform can survive to continue commanding their drones.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:33:12 AM EDT
The possibility of fully sensor-equipped drones operated by humans but via remote control will also be investigated. Proper configuration of the drone could result in a system that's operated by a live operator in terms of performance, but the operator could actually be somewhere else, operating in complete personal safety. This approach may be desirable because, for one, the drone wouldn't have to provide any life support and crew supplies, which would of course be a MAJOR commitment in terms of the unit's resources if it supported a human occupant. But there will always be a role for a suit with a man in it, once that role is first developed. However I doubt that it would be a role that would be given to rank and file troops. Special ops would get them, probably, but I doubt that powered suits would EVER be general issue. At least, the most capable versions wouldn't, anyway, though a basic model might become a standard issue item for some organizations. CJ
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