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October 05, 2010


I wonder whether the folks over at The Castle have seen this?

Posted by Cassandra at October 5, 2010 03:01 PM

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BPG Werks say its low centre of gravity "makes it ideal for reconnaissance, rescue/recovery, mobile surveillance, and medical evacuation operations".

Add a rider with 120 pounds of ruck and ammo and it suddenly becomes a vehicle with a *high* CG. And it might make a good RC unmanned mobile surveillance/recon vehicle, but BPG Werks is doing some serious drugs if they think it can do *any* of the rest.

They say the Shredder can be equipped with machine-guns and other weapons to turn it into a formidable attack vehicle.

Ooooooh -- *serious* drugs. I've seen more promising "baby attack vehicles" tested back in the '80s and '90s that went down for the count when they were tested "for real"...

Posted by: BillT at October 5, 2010 03:29 PM

BPG Werks say its low centre of gravity "makes it ideal for reconnaissance, rescue/recovery, mobile surveillance, and medical evacuation operations...

...not to mention driving off cliffs :p

Posted by: "I'll be right baaaaaaaaaaaaaa....." at October 5, 2010 03:31 PM

Fundamentally, the bottleneck for powered armor or powered locomotion for heavy infantry soldiers rests in the power requirements. If you can supply power to the requisite parts, then they are good. But out in the field and with the logistical constraints, power is at a premium. Just like fuel was for tanks back in WWII. It takes fuel to move fuel. At a certain point, there is diminishing returns. Or you just run out of fuel entirely, nothing to transport, nothing in vehicles.

Without room temp superconductors, electricity cannot be stored in enough quantity such that can power massive mechanical movement or servo motors. Engineering can make robots that move, but anything heavier than the IED robo trons, they cannot. Or they can, but it won't last very long in a fight due to endurance or C3 issues.

Miniature pebble rock generators can supply the power technically, but environmentalists and government lobbies are not particularly interested in using nuclear technology to power individual soldiers or even vehicles. They're fine with nuclear generators in submarines and carriers, but that's a legacy system derived from Cold War era competition. Right now, there just isn't as much push for more power or endurance for individual soldiers. And much of that stems from the US's political problems. There's also the issue of shielding, although nuclear waste isn't an issue with pebble rock. How do you shield the personnel in the vehicle or armor from the radiation of nuclear fission? That engineering problem is far easier to answer, however, than the question of "how do you get enough power to move this weight and do work with it".

Solar, wind, and all that other junk is militarily inaccessible and unfeasible to begin with. Without superconductors, those things do not provide the requisite output for war conditions.

With powered armor, a soldier can carry far more than 500 pounds of gear, including ammo and rations that last for quite awhile. Currently, mechanized infantry fulfills the role of equipment carriers, but more and more mobility is required against the current and potential future threats around. Especially in logistically tight areas where you can't really rely upon air drops or a stable logistical supply for maintenance of Humvee parts or fuel for APCs and what not. In cases where you can only bring what you carry, powered exo-skeleton armor provides a definite advantage. The word, however, is "powered". ANd it's not going to get powered by Democrat corruption, just in case if anybody was wondering.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 6, 2010 07:26 AM

In terms of locomotion for low cg, treads are not as good as spider walkers.

The issue is that treads are a proven technology "old", and not particularly difficult to build or design.

A spider walker, however, is very difficult to build and design. Although in some ways it is simpler than a robot that walks on two legs. More redundancy and no need to replicate the human brain's balance system either.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 6, 2010 07:31 AM

OK, maybe it's not suitable for the Army, but I WANT ONE!!!!

Posted by: Texan99 at October 6, 2010 01:02 PM