London, Apr 17 : Robotic flying soldiers shooting off missiles right, left and centre and smashing far off enemies within seconds- this seems to be a sight one normally encounters while playing a video game or in a sci-fi movie. But it may soon be a reality as the US army has now developed state-of-the art robotic suits that may provide soldiers with strength to match super-humans one sees on screen.
An example of science fiction turning into reality may be seen in Salt Lake City, Utah where a robotics firm, called Sarcos, has designed these XOS exoskeleton that may impart a great degree of strength and endurance to those who wear it and may enable them to do works that may not possibly be performed by humans.
Rex Jameson, a software engineer at laboratories run by Sarcos demonstrated this lightweight aluminium exoskeleton, called XOS. When worn, the XOS senses every move of the person wearing it and moves along, just like a shadow or a second skin.
This exoskeleton is designed for agility that can match a human's, but with strength and endurance that far outweigh our abilities and when fully charged, it may enable he wearer to pull down weight of more than 90 kilos, mush more than his own weight.
In army's case, the XOS may be a boon as they may be used for quicker supply lines, and a lot less of injuries when soldiers have to lift heavy weights or move objects around repeatedly.
While the initial models of these exoskeletons would be used as workhorses, on the logistics side, the army is planning to use the later models in fighting or carrying heavier weapons, or even wounded colleagues.
But the hitch is, a mobile power supply also needs to be developed that can last an effective length of time.
Now the US military is planning to take delivery of these early prototypes next year, and may soon be deploying some refined versions within eight years.
While it is still early to have a full-fledged robotic army, the designers are already imagining future versions more reminiscent of Hollywood.