The Bulletin

Darpa's warrior web takes its first steps

Posting in Government

Soldiers who carry 100-pound loads for substantial periods of time across rough and hilly terrain can often suffer injuries and fatigue -- but DARPA's Warrior Web aims to change that.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has begun testing in the Warrior Web project, which ultimately aims to create a soft, lightweight undersuit which will combat injury and tiredness issues as well as augment and boost a soldiers' own muscles in the process.

According to DARPA, the suit is able to improve endurance, carrying capacity and the overall effectiveness of the ground troop -- all by using only 100W of power. The transparent garment targets soft tissue areas which often endure the most strain when carrying loads, running and jumping through "closed-loop controlled actuation, transmission, and functional structures." If successful, this would reduce the physical burden and therefore prevent or assist with acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Instead of interfering with typical body armor, the suit is intended to augment them.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory Human Research and Engineering Directorate (ARL HRED), working in collaboration with the agency, has almost completed five months of testing on various Warrior Web devices. Two tests remain: to enhance and refine the core technologies required to fulfill DARPA's aims, and also to develop and fabricate an integrated suit to undergo real-world testing. The second task is expected to begin in fall this year.

Read More: DARPA

— By on May 22, 2013, 10:38 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure