The U.S. Army has just commissioned an Iron Man-like suit, called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) that will be strong enough to withstand a barrage of bullets.
In an effort to provide its Special Operation Forces with enhanced mobility, protection and surveillance abilities, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) challenged researchers to develop a suit that would combine nanotechnology with the endurance of Kevlar for the ultimate suit of body armor. The idea for the armor was first inspired by the work of MIT professor Gareth McKinley, who has been working on the development of liquid armor since 2002.
The liquid armor being developed by McKinley would theoretically be able to transform from liquid form to solid in mere milliseconds when an electric current or magnetic field is applied. The armor would be receptive to skin contact and be able to respond and detect the body’s core temperature, heart rate and level of hydration as well as provide basic life support. USSOCOM’s TALOS suit may very well make use of McKinley’s liquid armor in order to provide ballistic, full-body protection.
At a military press conference this past May, the request for a better type of body armor was presented due to the death of a trooper who was shot down by the Taliban. The soldier, who was going through a door in an attempt to rescue a civilian in Afghanistan, was shot from the other side, a death that probably could have been prevented by better armor.
USSOCOM is currently accepting white papers from multiple sources like academia, entrepreneurs and laboratories in an attempt to develop and test TALOS technology, so long as they would be able to help in the design, construction and realization of such a product. Though, it is currently just a concept and will take an entire year for USSOCOM just to select the technologies, this is the first baby step towards a futuristic piece of armor that could possibly make you into a real-life superhero. We can’t wait!