my president, ya’ll.
Actually, we are. Here are some of the unclassified projects.
Lockheed Martin’s Human Universal Load Carrier… HULC.
A powered load carrying frame, the HULC allows a soldier to carry 200# for hours and have it feel something along the lines of 5#. The HULC an simply be used to carry a soldier’s normal pack, but version have been developed that see one man fire teams walking along at a comfortable clip with heavy armor plating and weapons that typically require a tripod or vehicle mount. While wearing the HULC, soldiers can jog, sprint, squat, crawl, jump and perform other physical tasks with relative ease (a lot easier than they could if they were actually carrying 200#), and the system can be shed and dropped instantly to allow the soldier to abandon it or pass it off to someone else as the situation may require.
Here’s a demo reel from 2011.
Raytheon’s XOS exoskeleton.
A more “traditional” full body suit, the XOS greatly augments human strength. Raytheon is aiming a bit high though; current version require a tethered power source which makes it currently useless on the battlefield. Some early version are planned for logistics and support roles however- loading work in warehouses, hangers and tank bays.
A company sizzle reel released to coincide with Iron Man 2, with Clark Gregg.
Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, TALOS (named for perhaps the oldest mecha in fiction/mythology)
A combination of varius technologies being developed and amalgamated by SOCOM for use by the best soldiers on Earth, TALOS will provide US special forces with a myriad of capabilities from enhanced protection, improved stamina, greater survivability through on board and automated medical systems, enhanced senses, greater communications and connectivity- while not exactly a powered suit, such as Iron Man’s, TALOS is a fascinating and very much soon to be tested and deployed technology that, beyond vague pronouncements and hints, we frankly know very little about. It is perhaps the most practical of the current US military exoskeleton projects.
Somewhat cludgy DOD “demo” video, but don’t let this fool you.
There a number of other projects worth looking into, but that’s enough to get you started.
DARPA is always working on something you wouldn’t believe.
Oh, and while you’re at it, think about the projects they’re working on that they won’t tell you about.