back to article Taiwan to develop military exoskeleton because it's not like these things are open-sourced or one-size-fits-all

Taiwan's going to take a shot at developing military exoskeletons. The nation's Overseas Community Affairs Council decided its English-language readers needed to know about a proposed $8.3m Armaments Bureau proposal to "develop a powered exoskeleton, a wearable mechanized system that magnifies movements, allowing enhanced …

  1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Coat

    Aren't.....

    you a little short for a Terminator?

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Aren't.....

      "Well, I can drive that loader."

      Whrrrr buzz buzz.

      "Where do you want it?"

    2. S4qFBxkFFg
      Headmaster

      Re: Aren't.....

      I'm just irritated they chose an image of a powered endoskeleton for the story.

      1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

        Re: Aren't.....

        Isn't it a bit more Pacific Rim than Terminator?

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

          Re: Aren't.....

          I was thinking it was sounding more like Fallout Power Armour. But then I'm coming to the end of a Fallout 4 play through, so I guess I would.

          1. HildyJ Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: Aren't.....

            Danse Danse Revolution?

  2. Sebastian Brosig
    Gimp

    Surely it's the TSMCnsformer no wait he's UMCndrew Martin

  3. TeeCee Gold badge
    Alert

    No, one size fits all.

    The exoskeleton just adjusts your size to fit it.

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: The exoskeleton just adjusts your size to fit it.

      I think there may have been an ancient Greek prototype that implemented that particular feature ...

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: The exoskeleton just adjusts your size to fit it.

        A Procrustean concept.

  4. cb7

    I wonder how well they hold up against machine gun fire? Or grenades? Or other artillery?

    And if they're powered, which I imagine they are, otherwise it's just a suit of armour, how long does the battery or other power source last?

    I suspect they'll only be good for a few niche applications until the technology improves markedly beyond what we have now.

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Nah. The man-portable fusion generators should be ready by the time they've finished.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        So, it will be ten years or so?

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      These things can be unpowered, and there are multiple advances in this field already with clever combinations of springs, cables, webbing and mechanisms to augment the wearer's movements, help with load bearing by transferring loads to the ground around (instead of through) the wearer's spine and legs.

      Not as much augmentation as a powered exo, but works all the time. And sure, they're no Talos, so limited, if any armour, but Talos only exists as feverred wish-dreams of certain Generals and their arms suppliers.

      There are also advances in engine miniaturisation which can provide surprising amounts of power for their sizes. Multiple kilowatts. The thinking is batteries for stealth, internal combustion for combat or other high-energy use-cases e.g. search and rescue, moving equipment.

      1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

        try carrying more than one or two large calibre mortar rounds far and you'll take any help you can get...I don't think they are designing a combat suit!

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "I suspect they'll only be good for a few niche applications until the technology improves markedly beyond what we have now."

      There might be more niche applications than you think.

      A completely unpowered skeleton that simply prevented limbs from bending or twisting too far in the case of an accident might still be useful to businesses that wanted to lower their insurance premiums. A low-powered skeleton that merely assisted would be useful in many physical jobs (and swapping batteries every so often isn't a problem if you are working on site).

      And much of the same technology is probably what you need for remote working in hazardous environments (like hospitals...) or just plain isolated ones. That is, the exo-skeleton is used as a wearable sensory device to steer the robot.

      In fact, I'm struggling to see why the military are interested. Why don't we just promote the civilian applications of this technology and then let the armed forces buy the kit off-the-shelf at civilian rates?

      1. batfink Silver badge

        TBF I understand that some American car manufacturers are already using non-powered ones for workers in parts of their assembly lines. The exoskeleton takes part of the weight of the things that the workers are lifting, and cuts down on injuries as well as increasing the number of heavy widgets a worker can handle in a day.

        1. Daedalus Silver badge

          It's a upper body rig that supports the arms for working overhead.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Welcome, Skynet.

    Now rid this world of COVID-19...

    ...oh wait.

  6. Daedalus Silver badge

    Million dollar idea

    "We've got this exoskeleton that lets you carry heavier weights"

    "Nice, does it work better than a milkmaid's yoke?"

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