Harvard scientists to build fatigue-fighting smart suit

After receiving a $2.6 million contract from DARPA, Harvard scientists will work to create the lightest, most-flexible smart suit yet.

Forget those big, bulky Iron Man-like suits. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hoping for something more akin to Bruce Wayne’s Batsuit.

The United States military agency recently awarded a $2.6 million contract to Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to develop a sleek smart suit that will improve soldiers’ endurance on the front lines. Unlike many of the smart suits available today, the new system won’t be weighed down by large power needs or a rigid, hard-to-move-in structure.

The soon-to-be developed suit would allow soldiers to walk for longer distances, delay the onset of fatigue and improve resistance to injury while carrying a heavy load.

The key, however, will be the system’s “lightweight” and “nonrestrictive” materials. According to a press release from the Wyss Institute, the suit will be made from soft wearable devices, including a stretchable sensor that would monitor the body’s biomechanics.

Although the project is focused on soldiers, the wearable technology could someday prove useful for the elderly or those with physical disabilities.

[via Ecouterre]

Image: Wyss Institute

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