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IBM Files Patent For Bullet-Dodging Bionic Armor

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the let-the-matrix-jokes-commence dept.

IBM 379

An anonymous reader writes with news that IBM has filed a patent for "Bionic body armor" that would protect a wearer from long-range gunfire by detecting the incoming bullets and administering small shocks to the appropriate muscles required for moving out of the way. Quoting the patent: "When a marksman (such as a sniper) is attempting to fire a projectile from a firearm, the marksman typically prefers to be as far away from the target as possible, thus giving him or her a head start for the escape after the firing. As an example, the longest reported sniper hit was from a distance of about 2500 meters, resulting in a time of flight of about 4 seconds for the projectile/bullet. Had the target been aware of the inbound projectile, avoiding it by simply walking away would have been possible." After detecting the projectile, the armor would calculate the trajectory and "stimulate the target to move in a predefined manner ... sufficient to avoid any contact with the approaching projectile."

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379 comments

Stimulate to move... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853955)

Right into the path of another bullet. Or a truck. Or an electric fence. etc.

Re:Stimulate to move... (5, Funny)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854259)

New goal for terrorists - trigger the response in the armor making the wearer look weird and become exhausted.

Re:Stimulate to move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854645)

Just leave some USB drives around with a rattlesnake worm on it. Infected armor will then shock the user into proper location to bite the bullet.

Re:Stimulate to move... (3, Interesting)

beh (4759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854675)

Hmmm - to make the wearer escape the shot, the shocks would basically have to be admitted from one side only, to make the wearer move away from that side...

I wonder whether it could be used differently - e.g. make the wearer move in front of a moving car (ouch); or better, aid kidnappers by sending out a signal which actually makes the wearer jump / move towards the kidnappers getaway car - it would make kidnapping so much easier, if the victim would actually help you... ;-)

The question then would obviously be, can the armor be tricked into believing that WAS an incoming shot that would require this particular movement to evade 'the shot'...?

Re:Stimulate to move... (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854325)

So, given the knowledge that a bullet is heading for you, you would opt to stay put instead of avoiding it, on the off chance that another hazard would present itself?

-jcr

Re:Stimulate to move... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854381)

...or right into the path of the SAME bullet.

I mean, how accurate can this thing be? Maybe the bullet detected by the suit was going to pass two feet to the left of you. If the suit makes you jump to the left ... ooops!

Re:Stimulate to move... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854565)

The physics of a small projectile moving at high speed aren't particularly complicated. If you have two or three data points, you can plot the path. Better if you plug in the wind vector, but probably not necessary.

Re:Stimulate to move... (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854651)

The trig. is easy, sure, the problem is getting accurate data points on a tiny piece of metal moving at twice the speed of sound on a vector almost directly towards you.

Luckily the patent office accepts patents for impossible things.

Re:Stimulate to move... That would be a short... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854391)

circuit...

A bolting child of Oh Big Blue,
Melting into a mound of goo,
Sizzling, hopping, and spewing doo,
Settling, calming, as flies go "OOOOH"

Guided, misguided into fire,
The circuit boards fry in the pyre,
A life whose fate is down to wire,
So NOW Big Blue what will you sire?

Re:Stimulate to move... (5, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854399)

Right into the path of another bullet. Or a truck. Or an electric fence. etc.

You've obviously never been hit with a 5.56 round while wearing ceramic body armour. That little 8 gram bullet is like getting punched. You don't really feel the point of impact, but you are knocked sideways anyway. And the ceramic body armour breaks after only one bullet. After that you are on your own.

Re:Stimulate to move... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854453)

I thought the ceramic armor was made of little discs so you only lose one disc per hit.

Re:Stimulate to move... (2, Insightful)

gomiam (587421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854533)

As you can see [wikipedia.org], it's not made of small discs. The reason for this is easy to see, IMO: having one big plate allows for the kynetic energy of the bullet to be spread over a large surface. I.e., instead of getting hit a lot of force in a tiny area as the bullet would do, the victim will get hit with the same force spread across a big area, which will make the pressure per square centimetre much smaller. Using small discs (I guess you mean like chainmail [wikipedia.org]) would probably turn a smallish entry hole into a big one due to the kynetic energy not being spread enough. At least, it would mean having bones breaking and inner tissue rupturing.

Re:Stimulate to move... (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854511)

And the ceramic body armour breaks after only one bullet. After that you are on your own.

Actually, the plates generally in use by NATO nations are designed to stop up to 3 hits from 7.62 rounds. Now, granted "designed to" doesn't mean they will, but if you're suggesting that the plate is useless after only one hit from a 5.56 round, then you're just plain wrong.

Re:Stimulate to move... (1)

pnevin (168332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854627)

Sounds like one can have all the fun of being tasered without needing an annoyed policeman around.

Sign me up! (5, Funny)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853973)

I get so much shit thrown at me at the daycare everyday I could really use this.

Snatch (3, Funny)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854521)

"Boris the Blade? As in Boris the Bullet-Dodger?"
"Why do they call him the Bullet-Dodger?"
"'Cause he dodges bullets, Avi."

And how's it deal with multiple shooters? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853975)

I'd be most interested in seeing a YouTube clip of it trying to avoid a hail of bullets fired from different angles.

I wouldn't want to be wearing it in that scenario.

Re:And how's it deal with multiple shooters? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854127)

Also, I'm sure there will be tell-tale signs of who is wearing this, and you could fire at them, not necessarily for a hit, but to make them move into an area where you do want to hit them, or even fire a burst, to make someone wearing it move out of the way so you can hit the guy behind him, etc, etc...

"Dance fucker dance"

Re:And how's it deal with multiple shooters? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854173)

It would be interesting to know how easy it would be to generate false positives like car alarms do. The results could be quite humorous for the observer.

Re:And how's it deal with multiple shooters? (4, Funny)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854377)

How about a chair?
Will it allow the wearer to avoid being hit by a flying chair?

If yes, then IBM might actually be able to sell it to a few people.

Re:And how's it deal with multiple shooters? (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854503)

in that case even a bulletproof vest would be irrelevant because it cannot stand repeated hits anyway.

that's why a .22lr smg can be far more dangerous than a 9x19mm pistol.

Mechanism of detection? (4, Interesting)

tenco (773732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853987)

I wonder how they want to detect an approaching projectile. By sound wouldn't give really much of a head start. Anyway, detecting a projectile, calculating an approximate flight path and stimulating including biomechanical lag would have to happen in a really short period of time.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (2, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853999)

Indeed. Considering that the example of the longest recorded sniper shot has a "four second" travel time, one would assume that the majority of sniper shots will take only a second or two. That means that the detection, calculation, and stimulation would have to take place in maybe a hundredth of a second to be useful.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (2, Insightful)

Time_Ngler (564671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854015)

FTFA "The projectile may be detected in the detecting step by emitting an electromagnetic wave from a projectile detector and receiving the electromagnetic wave after the electromagnetic wave has been reflected back toward the projectile detector by the projectile."

Re:Mechanism of detection? (3, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854037)

Or in other words, radar.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (5, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854097)

Throw a handful of gravel against a group of military personel and watch the fun :D

Re:Mechanism of detection? (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854447)

...or use a hornet's nest to make a whole military base start jumping around uncontrollably while you just stroll in and set the charges.

The possibility for pranking is endless.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (2, Informative)

ZOP (240653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854297)

sound would not give any warning. very few modern rifles, especially sniper rifles, and most certainly those in the class that will fire past the 1km mark are subsonic.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854653)

If it's subsonic, then it *will* give a warning. It won't give a warning if the rounds are supersonic, which most long range rifles are designed to deliver. Subsonic rounds are limited in range, and slower rounds have to be heavier, leading to a reduction in kinetic energy.

Before someone goes off half cocked (heh heh), kinetic energy is proportional to mass and the square of velocity. So a reduction in velocity requires a much larger proportional increase in mass if kinetic energy is not to be lost.

IOW, trading speed for mass is bad. Lighter rounds at higher speeds are better in sniper rifles.

Re:Mechanism of detection? (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854335)

I wonder how they want to detect an approaching projectile.

Millimeter-wave radar would do fine, as long as the bullet was metallic. I've read about another idea for protecting people from gunfire which was a radar-triggered airbag that would pop up if anything within a hundred feet or so was moving too fast. The air bag would be made of kevlar, and the a bullet hitting it would stop like an arrow hitting a curtain.

-jcr

Re:Mechanism of detection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854429)

The air bag would be made of kevlar, and the a bullet hitting it would stop like an arrow hitting a curtain.

How many such airbags would you guess it woukd it take to provide 360 degree protection?

And wouldn't the required number make the wearer look pretty burly?

Re:Mechanism of detection? (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854563)

Last time I checked, car airbags weren't too bulky (until deployed, I mean).

Jeez, I'd like to patent invisible rocket suits (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854003)

That doesn't mean you can make it work in 10 years or less.

I guess we should be patenting everything we can possibly think of, now. Sigh.

Re:Jeez, I'd like to patent invisible rocket suits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854683)

and then have a working prototype be the time the ptent runs out

Great - Throw 'em around during a firefight (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854005)

While this seems like a great way to protect an unarmed VIP (as seems to be the intent), it seems like it'd be a little bit problematic when installed in the armor of a soldier in the field. This seems like it could be more dangerous than beneficial in such circumstances, unless you also apply a number of safety precautions. What if the wearer is already firing or moving? Will it be smart enough to detect preexisting movement? Will it be smart enough to disable the wearer's firearm, in the event that he is already firing at another target?

Re:Great - Throw 'em around during a firefight (3, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854133)

I suppose the logic is this:

Without the suit, you WILL be hit by a bullet.
WITH the suit, you MIGHT accidentally fling yourself off a cliff or whatever.

I'll take the latter odds over the former odds any day of the week.

Re:Great - Throw 'em around during a firefight (4, Interesting)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854425)

If the wearer is about to pull the trigger on his M72 LAW when someone fires a rifle at him, do you think it's a Good Idea (TM) to jerk the person around?

Without the suit, you WILL be hit by a bullet.
WITH the suit, you MIGHT accidentally blow up your whole team.

wtf (5, Insightful)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854009)

Probably the lamest idea ever. Long range sniper kills of this type represent an insignificant minority of deaths, they really think people are going to wear this crap?

The detection method sounds flaky and lame. What I would pay to see though is the other side create an 'electromagnetic' interference device that causes this armor to 'stimulate' the wearer to dive into a brick wall or something.

Re:wtf (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854083)

Probably the lamest idea ever. Long range sniper kills of this type represent an insignificant minority of deaths, they really think people are going to wear this crap?

The detection method sounds flaky and lame. What I would pay to see though is the other side create an 'electromagnetic' interference device that causes this armor to 'stimulate' the wearer to dive into a brick wall or something.

I agree. The whole idea seems like something somebody thought up after getting really, really drunk and watching "The Tuxedo."

Makes great book/movie material, but actually making it functional is a pipe dream at best.

Re:wtf (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854489)

getting really, really drunk and watching "The Tuxedo."

Redundant. As much as I love Jackie's movies, Tuxedo can only be watched while really really drunk.

Re:wtf (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854153)

It might have been effective if Kennedy had been wearing it.

Re:wtf (1)

hldn (1085833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854299)

uh probably not.

kennedy was shot from ~200 ft away with a bullet that traveled around 2000 fps. that puts the travel time of the bullet at around 1/10th of a second.

even if this system could detect the bullet the instant it was fired and then somehow compute it's exact trajectory in that same instant and then figure out how the target must move to avoid it, do you really think it would be physically possible for a person to move fast enough to dodge not one but multiple shots in that kind of time frame?

even if the technology for this system works flawlessly, it would only be useful for the most long-range shots people can make, ie pretty much useless.

Re:wtf (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854573)

...around 2000 fps.

Now that's what I call a graphic card! Can I play Quake 4 at that speed too?

Re:wtf (4, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854459)

While I agree with you that this solution is not a good fit for the problem, I just want point out that the threat of a sniper isn't in the total body count. Snipers tend to have a much greater psychological effect that's very disproportionate to the the resources employed. Soldiers, especially officers, are less likely to be out in the open if they knew there are snipers stalking them. Maybe one soldier will be killed per day or maybe even less but that's probably enough to make the unit operate less effectively the rest of the time. No one wants to be that one soldiers. More importantly, there is nothing they can really do about the threat and that makes soldiers feel helpless and drains their morale.

Re:wtf (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854467)

This isn't about saving lives. It's about getting government money.
Stuff like this sounds sexy. The generation of people in government office who hand out cash for this grew up watching sci-fi movies, and this sounds cool. They even get to try on the armour at sales pitches I reckon. Probably get to take a few souvenir photos.
Compare that with very dry presentations saying more steel is needed to reinforce the armour on military vehicles. It sounds dull, and it doesn't get funding.

This is nothing new. Governments make emotional decisions in knee jerk response, or decisions that have good photo-ops. The press makes things worse by reporting sound bites, or stories with good photos, and ignoring the important stuff.

Re:wtf (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854665)

Probably the lamest idea ever. Long range sniper kills of this type represent an insignificant minority of deaths, they really think people are going to wear this crap?

Finally -- a voice of reason.

What you say describes exactly what Bruce Schneier calls "movie-plot terrorist threats". People who think up this crap are the same as parents who take separate airline flights so the their children won't lose both in case of an airline accident. But they go together in the same car to the airport -- a far more dangerous proposition.

It's called lack of perspective.

There just isn't a way to choose in advance between the plane that landed in the river and the more recent one that crashed with the loss of 49 people.

Too Many Trajectories? (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854011)

This reminds me of something I read here recently about meteor strikes on Earth. Basically, we can only map about 0.001% of the sky per day or something small, and there are so many potential meteors out there we may never see that we may just die in our sleep tonight. How could body armor see all the potential trajectories of a bullet, scan them, and react all within a fraction of a second? While the longest bullet travel was 4 seconds, I would imagine that most successful sniper attacks are less, and armor doesn't exactly have eyes. Maybe I should read the article?

Yes! But will it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854013)

Finally! Now everyone will be able to fight Agents and not just that hack Keanu.

Super Sonic Rounds (4, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854051)

The vast majority of sniper rounds are super sonic. (the speed of sound is only about 1,100 ft/s)

So the bullet will hit it's target before the sound wave warning has arrived

Re:Super Sonic Rounds (2, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854307)

Which is why they aren't going off of sound (detailed in the patent application). They're using EM waves to reflect off of the bullet (either radar, laser, etc).

Lamers. That is HALO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854067)

Lamers. That is HALO!

This sounds way too good to be true.... (4, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854069)

So the armor emits an electromagnetic signal that can detect, instantly, the movement of a bullet, can calculate the trajectory of said bullet, and somehow ensure that the user is warned enough to move out of the way of the bullet. In the example that they give, the bullet is traveling at 625 meters per second, the size of a bullet coming from a typical sniper rifle is very small. So this armor can detect, say the size of a small marble, from 2500 meters away?

Assuming that this armor can perfect and accurately detect incoming small arms projectiles and warn the user in time, how can the armor know the ground terrain that the wearer has to physically negotiate? Say the person is standing in two feet of snow, or in sand in the desert, perhaps the person is in two feet of water, or they are walking down stairs? The armor requires the user to be an acrobat from what I can tell. And no matter what, unless the armor can fully mobilize the wearer and move them automatically, this system still leaves room for grave human error, meaning it's hardly reliable.

And won't people figure out a way to beat the armor, or beat the system. Imagine a sniper rifle that fires a decoy bullet, that knocks the target down (as he evades the first bullet) and puts the armor wearer in a prone position on the ground, making him or her easy to target. Or perhaps a decoy bullet is shot from one barrel and the real bullet follows in a pre-calculated trajectory requiring no manual aiming for the sniper. Perhaps a bullet can be made undetectable to the electromagnetic pulse that the armor gives off. Maybe the armor can be jammed? You fire a bullet with an electromagnetic pulse destabilizer and then pick off your target when the armor fails.

I should mention that I live like three or four miles from IBM's headquarters in the Hudson Valley, so I hope they let my friends who work there bring in their buddies (or just me) for some live fire demonstrations where we can snipe at blowup dolls wearing million dollar armor with some high tech rifles.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (2, Interesting)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854109)

Well, light is an electromagnetic signal I guess.

If the wearer had a 360* light sensor on top of his head, and it was tuned to detect small flashes in the particular light signature of a rifle flash, something like this could work I suppose.

While I'm pretty confident that the electronics could react fast enough for at least a 1000meter range, I'm really not sure how fast the human body responds to the electrical impulses. If the last time I touched live 110v AC is any indication that's pretty bloody fast.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854471)

Yes, because there's no way it would get false positives on light flashes. The guy in the suit will look like he is auditioning for riverdance.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854137)

It's a guyver mega smasher plagiate!

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854347)

So this armor can detect, say the size of a small marble, from 2500 meters away?

Sure, why not? Radar routinely detects objects that cover far smaller arcs in its field of view.

-jcr

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854687)

Yes, with massive radar antennae. There's no way you can do the same with a six-inch antenna (or whatever).

Also, radar antennae tend to spin so you get a latency in the detection. If it spins (eg.) once per second and you need three readings to be able to calculate the trajectory of the bullet then that's 3.5 seconds latency on average. Plus a second to get out of the way, and, ooops! We've just taken longer than the longest ever snipe.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (1)

Dersaidin (954402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854417)

...demonstrations where we can snipe at blowup dolls wearing million dollar armor with some high tech rifles.

"...protect a wearer from long-range gunfire by detecting the incoming bullets and administering small shocks to the appropriate muscles required for moving out of the way."

Blowup dolls don't have muscles... You'll have to wear it for them.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854455)

...how can the armor know the ground terrain that the wearer has to physically negotiate? Say the person is standing in two feet of snow, or in sand in the desert, perhaps the person is in two feet of water, or they are walking down stairs? The armor requires the user to be an acrobat from what I can tell. And no matter what, unless the armor can fully mobilize the wearer and move them automatically, this system still leaves room for grave human error, meaning it's hardly reliable.

I would rather fall down a flight of stairs than get hit by a bullet.

Just sayin.
-Taylor

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (0, Redundant)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854641)

I guess the detection would be done by analyzing the sound, instead of visual analysis.

Re:This sounds way too good to be true.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854673)

And no matter what, unless the armor can fully mobilize the wearer and move them automatically, this system still leaves room for grave human error, meaning it's hardly reliable.

Whine whine! This system isn't absolutely perfect! Therefore it's worth nothing, because everything is black and white!

Sheesh, seriously. There are many problems with this, as others have pointed out, and many things that could be said against it, but "it's not 100% perfect" is not one of them.

New sniper rifle patent (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854071)

simulates projectiles in a manner which causes the aforementioned bullet-dodging armor to deliver stimulus which directs it's wearer to repeatedly and fatally strike him or herself in the genitals.

I predict this to be added to the hague conventions in short order.

Another typical IBM patent (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854081)

This is what happens when a company pays its employees for each successful patent, and when employees are even told to put patent applications in their yearly personal objectives, which affect their annual bonuses. You end up with employees spending a large chunk of their work week filing for patents on any random idea that enters their head, no matter how impractical, obvious, or unrelated to the company's actual research and development.

patent missing magic bullet detector (1)

societyofrobots (1396043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854093)

So if I make a patent of a device that detects incoming sniper bullets, wouldn't IBMs patent be useless without buying mine?

Interesting... (4, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854095)

But there are several obstacles which I can't see being solved within the next decade or two (I'm being optimistic):

First of all, there's accuracy. You don't want your VIP actually walking to intercept the bullet.

Second, size. If your radar is so precise as to detect a bullet even 500 yards away, it's gotta be pretty big.

Related to this, there's energy. For an awesome radar (or anything else) like that, you'd need big-ass batteries, and/or to recharge every couple of hours. Especially in battle, this would be a no-go.

Finally, if they claim that this is really for VIP's under high risk of an assassination attempt, and not for military/police, then the device would probably have to be invisible. I don't think Obama or Bill Gates wants to walk around with a huge thingamajig on his head (remember "Child abduction is not funny"?).

Seriously, I don't know if it's a good idea to give somebody a patent for an idea if they haven't addressed so many key issues.

Rediculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854099)

"As an example, the longest reported sniper hit was from a distance of about 2500 meters, resulting in a time of flight of about 4 seconds for the projectile/bullet. Had the target been aware of the inbound projectile, avoiding it by simply walking away would have been possible."

Bad analogy - For the record:

That shot was taken by a Canadian sniper in Afghanistan, on his 3rd round, with a .50 cal.
I assume that after the target had been alerted by the other 2 rounds landing nearby,(one hit a pack he was wearing) he kinda knew what was up already. Still didn't help him though.

brilliant! (2, Funny)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854103)

Since bullets typically travel faster than sound, you first get hit by the bullet, and then you get an electric shock on top of that. What fun.

What will those IBM guys patent next?

Re:brilliant! (3, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854189)

I wasn't aware that electromagnetic radiation traveled at the speed of sound.

Title... (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854113)

IBM Files Patent For Bullet-Dodging Bionic Armor

Reading that title, I got a mental image of body armor sensing incoming bullets and dodging them by jumping off of the wearer.

Bullet Dodging Armor? (1)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854141)

So, it is armor, that dodges the bullets when they are heading for your body. Um, wouldn't the armor work best when it is BETWEEN me and the lead projectile?

gaming the system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854147)

Supposing you could generate the signature of a bullet yourself? That could make for great fun.

We can Rebuild him. We have the technology. (2, Funny)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854155)

We can build the first 700 Billion dollar man. Da da-da da! Da da da da da da da da daahh

Sorry...won't work (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854157)

The sniper was Canadian, so I'm pretty sure the armour wouldn't have saved the target in the long run. The sniper was told that the guy he killed was responsible for blowing up ten skids of imported microbrewery beer. If the rifle didn't work, that sniper would have run down there with a dull, rusty spoon, cut the guy's balls off and beaten him to death with them.

It's the Canadian Way.

Re:Sorry...won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854491)

ROFLMOA --- This is one of the few slashdot comments I can show to my Canadian ex-military friends and family members that they would both understand and appreciate

Thanks

The consulting business must be slow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854159)

Just sayin'.

Radar-armor means we need... (2, Funny)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854217)

... $20M stealth bullets that have the radar signature of a mosquito. Yay!

It dodges lasers too! (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854219)

With battle field lasers being available now, it needs to have a quantum entanglement detector to operate. This also requires the IBM time machine to be really effective. The nice thing it is so futuristic it has an open source time machine operating system.

Yet another Old West tradition down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854221)

Now you don't have to shoot at someone's feet to make them dance. Shoot anywhere you damn well please.

Is this a troll patent? (2, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854251)

Or do they actually have something? Personally I don't see it working that well. A system that detects where the fire comes from and automatically returns fire with a sniper round, or an RPG, would be much bigger deterrent IMO.

Complete BS - the Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854277)

Let's assume that this vest actually exists and would protect the wearer in the example given. 4 seconds is a lot of time to get out of the way of a bullet.

An ar15 with a 20 inch barrel can easily propel a (standard) 55 grain bullet over 3000 fps. Using modern tactics, "long" range is 300 yards. Most kills happen closer than 150 yards.

150 yards at 3000 fps leaves just .15 seconds to detect the bullet simulate the situation and force the wearer to get out of the way.

Even at the longer 300 yard range, there is just .3 seconds to get out of the way. This is vaguely more likely, but practical armor (total weight 25 lbs) will likely never be made that could accomplish this inside the duration of the patent.

It could be a trendy move.... (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854291)

...in a world where leaders are not usually known for their dance steps.

Other projectiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854397)

What happens when a flock of birds fly past?

You will be dancing the robot!

Ode to Big Blue's New Suit of Armor (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854451)

The troopers run in Big Blue's ARMOR
With glint and sprint each one's a CHARMER
In humid climes the suit's a WARMER
They are no match for pick-axe FARMER

Be brave and stout and dodge rounds nearby
A jig you dance cuz rounds fly on by
But whizz your pants-the round hit you guy
Oh now you know - bionics can fry

(there is a store-all in this more, and there's a moral to this story)

Nazi's (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854475)

Who's the modern day equivalent of the nazi's? shouldn't ibm follow suit and sell to the bush administrat.. oh wait.

This begs the question (0)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854483)

I've seen a lot of proposals for high tech advancements on the infantry soldier. From power suits, to medical robot arms integrated into stretchers, to drones for spying, to head to toe electronics gear. But wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to work on a complete remotely controlled robot to replace a soldier? If you aren't sending a human in harm's way, there's an awful lot more missions you could accomplish, and you wouldn't be as worried about casualties or armor...

Re:This begs the question (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854623)

But wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to work on a complete remotely controlled robot to replace a soldier?

If all you want to do is kill, then yeah, maybe. We don't have the technology for it, but in the long run you could probably pull it off. You'd lose a lot of situational awareness, and have various other issues to overcome, but it might be worthwhile anyway.

Thing is, such machines would be fairly useless in a conflict like the current wars in Iraq/Afghanistan. You can't send a robot to check on shop owners, play with kids, share cigarettes and gossip with the local soldiers/police, and sit in on tribal meetings. Somehow I can't see the locals inviting a robot in for tea.

You could use them to augment combat missions - they'd be GREAT for room-clearing - but you're still going to need real people for most of your other work. Which means you still need all that other junk to protect your people, so you're not saving any money.

Something similar was demo'd in the 70's (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854495)

They've had these for cars for a long time. It triangulates the bullet's path from two or three sensors mounted on the body, so the driver can tell where the shots are coming from and take avoiding action.

I guess the novel part of this is to buld a taser into the mechanism - though, I would expect most politicians would prefer to take a bullet than to crap themselves in public as a result of the shocks they receive.

OK, time to put an end to that idea ... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854551)

Why is almost everyone (so far) fixating on BULLETS?

Hell, if I had an army or some resisting force being assaulted by troops in armor, i'd set up IEDs, nuts and bolts, flame-throwers, and bouncing betty-type combinations of devices. Neck, face and limb armor will negate ANY head and upper body armor. As long as you set up confusion, sheer horror, and profuse bleeding, any army will spend an inordinate amount of time collecting casualties for triage. At some point, body bags going home will (ideally) cause resistance to more bodies coming home.

Also, for close-quarter combat, IMPROVISE. Set up spring-loaded, stud-fitted poles at neck, chest and shin level. Anyone walking into those traps will be one un-pretty fucked up individual. If you are defending YOUR TURF, i don't give a damn what country you are from, you have EVERY RIGHT to whack the shit out of intruders, and, morally, i support you. The point of war and combat should be to reduce war and combat, not create blind or programmed "rah rah rah".

Besides, much armor can be a death trap if the shit set ablaze, and made useless if penetrated in a concentrated area more than once. Without field replacements, anyone shot more than 3 or 4 times has got to be asking the Dirty Harry question: "Do I feel LUCKY?"

But, nevermind all that. Napalm for up close and personal, and microwave cooking for out to 50 yards, and distributed cluster bombs for random psychological dissuasion. Hell, in Afghanistan, heavily booby-trapped fields became so untrustworthy and costly to clear that the British (IIRC, it was British) just paved their own way through farm land and only THEN did they trust the road's safety agains "insurgents".

I am hoping this armor is not being paid for out the the "stimulus" package. IBM has enough money that they should pay for it themselves and recoup costs on sales -- as long as the cost is not burdensome to the Taxpayers. Besides, this is probably going to turn out to be more for pacifying troops psychologically than to actually be protective. All protection is just some layer in a larger near-local system. Senses, sharing information, and choosing to avoid catastrophe can go a long way in obviating a dependency on armor. But, since people are going to follow orders rather than be shot for cowardice in the face of an enemy...

But, at first, when i read the OP/summary, i immediately flashed forward thinking this would be like Chobham armor, or some kind of reactive armor that predetonates just before impact, so as to lessen the shock to the person under the armor. But, the effects would be as disorienting from inside the armor as from outside.

It might look ludicrous, but maybe they should just run together under a huge, deflector shield -- everyone carrying/shouldering their 3 pounds of transparent Kevlar, with the dirt skirt about 5 inches above ground. Now, if they could just program the TKDS to match the surroundings, IBM might be on to a better product. Unfortunately, though, anyone getting a few frag grenades under that skirt will turn that TKDS into a "dome of doom" with all that shrapnel creating "Hamburger Helper". Once the death dome hits the ground and stops moving, the enemy would redirect fire to entomb the next set of rolly-pollies...

Do they mean ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26854583)

Duck and Cover?

Works for nuclear bombs so why not for mere bullets?

It's just a patent. (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26854591)

A bullet is a very very small target for any radar to detect, even with very sensitive equipment. However something moving at 1000m/s is a very distinct doppler rader signature, wich makes it MUCH easier to detect. From there this is plausible.

It's just a patent, it doesn't represent any actual project planned and certainly is no waste of bailout/stimulous package money.

I for one welcom such advances, as some day our troops will be wearing exoskeletons which may be able to make movements for the wearer - this is a step towards the machine revolution, where we are all anhiliated by robotic exoskeletons where the human is either dead or no longer has control... oh crap.
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