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Building Tomorrow's Soldier Today

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'll-take-an-exoskeleton-and-four-drones-please dept.

Science 230

FleaPlus writes "Wired reports on a glove developed by Stanford researchers Dennis Grahn and Craig Heller which combines a cooling system with a vacuum in order to chill blood vessels and drastically reduce fatigue. Besides the obvious military and athletics applications, the technology is also potentially useful for firefighters, stroke victims, and people with multiple sclerosis. The Wired article also describes a number of other human enhancement projects intended to advance battlefield technology. Examples include military exoskeletons, projects designed to increase cognition or decrease the need for sleep, and studies that may one day allow single soldiers to operate multiple aerial drones. Many of these were opposed by the President's Council on Bioethics."

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230 comments

Solider? (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376005)

Building Tomorrow's Solider Today

Yes, let's build it, so I can see what it looks like.

Re:Solider? (2, Funny)

bommai (889284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376033)

May be tomorrow solider can be soldered if broken.

Re:Solider? (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376335)

No, solider implies that it cannot be soldered. It is solider than solid.

On a state-of-matter scale of 1 to 10 (1 being gaseous, 10 being completely solid) this one goes up to 11.

Re:Solider? (1)

painQuin (626852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376815)

For those who come after me, there was originally a typo in the headline.
It was fixed between when my RSS feed updated and when I loaded the page.

Re:Solider? (5, Interesting)

Larus (983617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376405)

Science and technology aside, this will sooner or later find commercial markets.

And why not? Human beings have made themselves to be more unhuman in every passing year. We have professional athletes whose exercise programs would be considered abnormal and pointless, (not including shaving eyebrows to achieve an iota of improvement in swim speed.) We have anti-aging pharmaceutical food and beverage offerings that cater to the Baby Boomers who felt entitled to look like 40-yos instead of 60. We have daily caffeine to boost our brains in the morning, no-dose to boost productivity in the evenings, Prozac to lift us when we're low, and even psychadelic drugs to boost creativity when we're dull. We design ergonomic chairs and keyboards while we sit in front of computers and in our cars for longer hours. We alter hormones and apply suntan lotions. We use AC's and heaters so that our habitats can include the most uncomfortable places on Earth. We give our children Baby Einstein so that they will be superkids and outcompete others when they grow up.

I'm not saying it's pointless for soldiers on the frontline to receive these booster-packs. They have a job to accomplish, and so do we. Maybe we're all trying to become Homo sapiens cyberneticus too. Maybe our environment self-selects.

Re:Solider? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376461)

Shouldn't it be more solid?

Re:Solider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376533)

Today's solider can't get any more solid. At least not until tomorrow.

Re:Solider? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376625)

Is this all just a gimmick for the new video game Solider Snake and Solider, With A Vengeance?

Just remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376587)

If you build it, they will come.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376027)

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Great way to win the War on Terror on the Cheap (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376043)

But what will we do with the overtrained soldiers [wikipedia.org] after the war is over?

Re:Great way to win the War on Terror on the Cheap (5, Interesting)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376417)

This is an excellent example of why we as a society need fiction (especially science fiction).

We have to explore or ethics as a culture very carefully before making leaps such as these, and fiction lets us do that.

Now to get more people to read worthwhile books...

Re:Great way to win the War on Terror on the Cheap (1, Interesting)

crashfrog (126007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377373)

We have to explore or ethics as a culture very carefully before making leaps such as these, and fiction lets us do that.

Oh, bullshit. Most of the ethical exploration you're referring to, particularly in Star Trek, consists of nothing more than reinforcing 19th-century moral structures applied to 20th-century situations (though allegory of 24th-century technologies.)

Homosexuals are pushing for equality in society, including rights of marriage? The message of Star trek is "cram those assholes back in the closet, where they belong. No gay people in our version of the future." People of different races want equal treatment before the law, and to be seen as individuals, not weirdos? The message of Star Trek is "You're your race. You're just a Klingon; we expect you to be violent. You're just a Ferengi, you'll never be anything but avaricious. You're just a Jew or a nigger. Only white people are normal and non-ethnic." Even the Prime Directive presents a viewpoint on developing cultures right out of 19th-century colonialism - "savages will be savages, and there's nothing we can do to help them."

Honestly it's always astounded me when people put things like Star Trek out there as some kind of ideal future of equality. What, just because every single series had one token black person on the bridge? When you really pay attention to the series you find that the attitudes are remarkably parochial and conservative. Nearly everyone in the five different series is a racist, and good luck trying to find a single gay character.

Train them to work (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376943)

at McDonald's or join a monastery.

Re:Train them to work (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376967)

Both those places require less agression and concentration, not more...but I suppose you didn't even RTFA OR my link before you posted this.

Re:Train them to work (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377083)

Q: What part about the Subject didn't you read?

A: Training.

I suppose you didn't even
Stop being an ass blister. Your vocabulary is like to a schoolgirl bully. The character is common in classic American movies about adolescence: tall, red hair, pigtails, freckled, tomboyish, loudmouthed, aggressive, usually with a drunk for a father, and always chasing down the main character (often a boy just a year or so younger) with snotty remarks.

Re:Train them to work (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377263)

Mere training, after dosing wth drugs to highten agression and intelligence, as well as experimental implants, will allow a soldier to work in a McDonald's without killing customers? :-)

As for the rest- just more assumption of facts not in evidence.

Your pigtails are shaking (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377371)

will allow a soldier to work in a McDonald's without killing
Those that are too good to work at McDonald's will be sent to a monastery for passivity training.

let's build those soliders (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376057)

Soliders are what we all need, not the emptiers or the hollowers, but the soliders, they shall be hard and dimensional, dependible and reliable, continuous and complete rather than divided, broken, incomplete, hollow, interrupted, intermittent, tenuous, untrustworthy, vulnerable, fluid, gaseous, unsubstantial, liquid, soft or vaporous.

While we are at it, let's build a better responsible useful /. editor and an intelligent moderator.

What the hell is a Solider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376067)

Another reeson why a spellchek featur is neeeded for dlashdot.

Re:What the hell is a Solider? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376191)

Spellcheck won't help. Solider is a word, a bad one (more solid), but a word.

No, you need editors with some sort of cognitive functions, an ability to proofread, and some semblance of pride in their work.

Re:What the hell is a Solider? (1)

MrTester (860336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376619)

Oh please.
Next thing you know you will be asking for people to check to make certain their facts are correct. Get with the times!!!!
Witht he 24 hour news cycle we dont have time to worry about getting it right. We have to get it out now!

Its like Charles Karault said in his 1876 State of the Union address: "Incorrect news now is better than good news tomorrow".

Okay, this is a cheap shot (0, Troll)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376073)

but hey, this is /.
>Many of these were opposed by the President's Council on Bioethics.

Imagine the cognitive dissonance and heads exploding if someone managed to create mindless zombies that followed directions, didn't protest wiretapping or secret laws and secret courts, and voted Republican, but the creation used FETAL STEM CELLS?

owait that's already been done: the red states. Blast.

Re:Okay, this is a cheap shot as well (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376375)

OK, you first. Please get your wife pregnant and then kill it off before its born so we can use that to further science... OH wait, we've already been doing that and NO PROGRESS has been made using Fetal Stem Cells. Adult Stem cells have seen tons of progress, but why confuse the baby-killer crowd with facts....

Re:Okay, this is a cheap shot as well (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376679)

OH WAIT! You're wrong. Fetal stem cells are not taken from would-be-birthed babies. They're taken from babies that are already to-be-aborted. So let's think here, "kill the baby and get nothing out of it" OR "kill the baby and get research material". I don't care if you're against abortion, the baby is going to die legally anyways.

Also, if you're going to contest fetal stem cell research, you can't say that it's seen no progress because it's people like you that have been blocking it with claims that it's killing would-be babies.

Re:Okay, this is a cheap shot as well (2, Insightful)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377057)

Let's be rational for a little bit.
World Population: 6,525,170,264 [cia.gov]
I, personally, could give a rats hairy ass about abortion one way or the other. However, overpopulation is as big an issue as bioethics.

And before you say, "Well, what if your mother had aborted you?"
Well, then I wouldn't be here to care, now would I?

Damn kneejerk activists...

Re:Okay, this is a cheap shot (3, Insightful)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376629)

The only mindless zombies I see on a regular basis are the ones that assume everything Bush does is somehow inherently evil, destroying the constitution, causing global warming, etc. Those are the people I find who lack logic and reason and possess an inability to think beyond some handed down meme they read somewhere or heard somewhere and get patted on the backend by their circle of yes men. Conformity through anti-conformity or what have you. Leftists (I can't call them Liberals because that would mean free thinking people) are some of the most close minded, anti-freespeech people I have ever had an occasion to converse with.

Re:Okay, this is a cheap shot (0, Troll)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376999)

Want to see a mindless zombie? That's easy, go look in the mirror.

And don't forget the mindless zombies that regurgitate things they have never personally verified, like those that believe the earth is round, orbits that sun...

Captain Spelling says it's spelled 'soldier' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376077)

fix that, do 100 push-ups and then run around the block 100x in full gear private editor...

I'm sure I won't be the first to ask (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376083)

What is a solider? Sure, I could decipher from context by following the link, but why is it up to me to figure out your stupidity.

Insert witty comment here (1)

deviant1 (1076649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376101)

I really wish I could remember even a SINGLE quote from Universal Soldier... I guess the movie was just that bad. However, apparently some scientist really liked the principle. I want Dolf on my team.

Re:Insert witty comment here (1)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376277)

No way, dude. You want Sylvester Stallone. I saw him beat the crap out of Dolph once - on his home turf too. Heart of a lion, or eye of a tiger, or something...

Even that pansy, Jean Claude Van Dumbe, did the splits a bunch of times and beat Dolph's ass.

Harken to my words, young one. You will rue the day that you pick him for your happy fun ball team!

Re:Insert witty comment here (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377211)

"We found that by hyper-accelerating the bodies, we could turn dead flesh into living tissue."

This brings to mind several questions: (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376107)

If one of these soldiers is severely injured...

Could we rebuild him?

Do we have the technology?

Do we now have the capability of building the world's first bionic man?

Will Steve Austin be that man

and Will he be better than he was before? Better, stronger and faster?

*end obligatory pseudo-quotation*

Will the Solider of the future (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376141)

be like a 60/40 tin and lead mix, or do they have some new alloys that might work better?

Will the cancer causing (only in california) agents be removed from flux?

Re:Will the Solider of the future (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376485)

Nope. 62.5% tin, 36.1% lead and 1.4% silver.

It's Eutectic Man.

Re:Will the Solider of the future (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376885)

to be followed by soldiers made of steel with over 4% carbon... Hypereutectic man.

Re:Will the Solider of the future (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377049)

Nope. 62.5% tin, 36.1% lead and 1.4% silver.

Getting ready for the War on Werewolves, I see.

Re:Will the Solider of the future (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377003)

As a time-saving method, the soliders of the future will be no-clean.

sign me up (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376163)

which combines a cooling system with a vacuum in order to chill blood vessels and drastically reduce fatigue
 
Oh that sounds real pleasant.

Re:sign me up (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376381)

think about it this way. They have invented the water cooler adaptor for humans. This little device pulls heat out of the blood. That colder blood circulates through out your body cooling you off.

My concern would be celluar damage at the point in which the cold blood enters the body. Cold being relative here. as you only want to lower the body temperature by a couple of degrees.

i want steel bones (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376183)

like the Terminator... _astala vista baby

Re:i want steel bones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376699)

I guess astala vista is only fitting for an article about soliders.

If it had been about soldiers you might have written hasta la vista.

Bad grammar! (0, Offtopic)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376281)

That headline should read, "Building Tomorrow's More Solid Today"

Re:Bad grammar! (1)

forrestt (267374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376707)

Unfortunately, it will take a couple of days to build tomorrow's more solid today, making it yesterday's more solid day-before-yesterday.

From what I see on TV (5, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376313)

That money would be better spent on teaching soldiers some arabic. Seriously.
Modern war isnt about tanks and pitch battles between rival fleets of helicopter gunships. Modern warfare is fought in a city, in amongst a civilian population, who may or may not be hostile to US troops.
teaching some basic arabic for beginners to soldiers so they can understand what the locals are saying is going to save more lives, and lead to a better outcome, than any l33t new nano-engineered hi tech gubbins that will most likely fail the moment it gets exposed to heat and sand.

Re:From what I see on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376393)

> That money would be better spent on teaching soldiers some arabic.

Or just training more soldiers.

Re:From what I see on TV (2, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376471)

Someone mod this up, please.

The problem, if there is one, is not that soldiers aren't physically up to the demands that will be made of them. The problem is with the politicians who send them unprepared on ill-advised and ill-defined (but profitable, for them) missions, often for dubious reasons that are unrelated to our national security.

If that could actually happen, I mean.

Re:From what I see on TV (0, Troll)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376517)

Judging from /. stories money sure isn't being spent on English skills either.

BTW, can I have some techno gear to protect me from all the uber soldiers?

Re:From what I see on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18377389)

How is this a troll?

Re:From what I see on TV (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376661)

That money would be better spent on teaching soldiers some arabic. Seriously.
Modern war isnt about tanks and pitch battles between rival fleets of helicopter gunships. Modern warfare is fought in a city, in amongst a civilian population, who may or may not be hostile to US troops.
teaching some basic arabic for beginners to soldiers so they can understand what the locals are saying is going to save more lives, and lead to a better outcome, than any l33t new nano-engineered hi tech gubbins that will most likely fail the moment it gets exposed to heat and sand.


The biggest pitfall for any military is training to fight the last war. Poland in the 1930s is a prime example. They were ready to fight a WWI army when Hitler invaded. Unfortunately for the Poles, the German war machine spent its time getting ready for the NEXT war and wiped the Poles out!

Urban warfare is always a messy business. However, regardless of what you hear on the news, our soldiers are doing a hell of a job in the Iraqi cities. The problem is that when compared to the bang-up job they did in the deserts, their performance in the cities looks atrocious. We have lost a minuscule amount of troops in the cities, but those numbers overshadow the casualty rate in getting to the cities in the first place. We lost more training for D-Day than we have lost in both gulf wars combined. If we had taken huge numbers of casualties overthrowing Iraq, the press would be marveled at how well we are doing in the urban areas. But as it stands, the public didn't expect casualty rates to rise after heavy combat operations ceased. The press has only fueled this perception by following the "if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy and completely ignoring any successes in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Re:From what I see on TV (2, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377085)

"But as it stands, the public didn't expect casualty rates to rise after heavy combat operations ceased."

Did "Mission Accomplished" have anything to do with that?

May be solving the wrong problem (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376721)

True. That may be solving the wrong problem.

The problem they're working on with this isn't one the US has. The "superhuman abilities" thing is useful when assaulting hard, heavily defended, hard to access targets. But the US military is very good at assaulting hard targets.

What the US military is lousy at is fighting guerrilla and insurgent movements. Those are about intelligence, not firepower. The opposition tries to avoid offering any hard targets. They don't fight pitched battles. It's classic Maoist doctrine: "The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue." The US couldn't deal with that in Vietnam, and it can't deal with it in Iraq.

Re:May be solving the wrong problem (2, Insightful)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376781)

No, it's not the US military that's lousy at that kind of warfare. It's the civilian US politicians and bureaucrats that are lousy at it. The US military has known how to fight that kind of war all the way back to the Revolution and before.

Re:From what I see on TV (0, Troll)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376795)

Actually, the US military under president Bush actively discourages soldiers from learning Arabic, because of a concern that soldiers would empathize with Arabian contacts and start sympathizing with the enemy. It sounds a little ludicrous, and I can't say I approve, but there's been a number of agents in the Interzone who have actually merged with their cover stories. Just the daily cost of doing war against Islam Inc.

Re:From what I see on TV (1)

rhakka (224319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376893)

Maybe because they find that the arabs have some very real and compelling reasons for resisting american-sponsored activities in the area once they can talk to the people there. Like, how we tend support powers that will do business with us, who are in turn plundering their own country's resources while the people of those countries see very little of the benefits.

Just a guess.

Re:From what I see on TV (4, Insightful)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376975)

"Interesting"? That's the most idiotic thing I've heard. That it is completely false. In no way does the US military discourage personnel from learning Arabic. In fact, the US Army is offering $20,000 bonuses for Arabic speakers who enlist.

Er... (3, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377069)

I say this as a soldier. I also say this as one who went there and came back.

Not everyone is cut out to learn Arabic (which is why "Assalam alaikum", essentially "How are you doing?" in Arabic, turns into "Licka-me-salami". Admittedly, juvenile soldier humour) That's why we have translators and language specialists in the Army. The Army does have people who are skilled in Arabic, though not enough.

They do teach us basic Arabic phrases before we head out there. In fact, we carry a "language card" with us that has some common phrases.

To be brutally honest, it's not Arabic that will save us when we are there. It's Tactics and Procedures and it's technology. This is what we spent the bulk of our time on before we headed out there. In addition to some basic language and culture classes, to better understand the Iraqis. Who's going to survive longer in a firefight? A soldier who is well-trained on his weapon and whatever gadget he carries? Or a Soldier yelling out "Assalam Alaikum!" while bullets fly around him? Who's going to survive an IED? A soldier who has been trained how to react to such an event, or one who knows really good Arabic?

I honestly hate hearing these armchairs strategists who have absolutely no idea of the ground reality over there.

Do you honestly think that the Army doesn't field test any of these good gadgets? Do you think soldiers just blindly take their gadgets out to the field? If we have a gadget that's a piece of shit, we don't use it. We also have this thing called PMCS (Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services) where we check every piece of equipment before we head out and after we come back to base, for malfunctions and potential malfunctions. Your average Army Gadget is not like your pretty little iPod or Motorola Razr. It's pretty hardy and can take a pounding. Our GPS units are called PLGRS (Pluggers) and you beat the shit out of those and they still work. We have night-vision scopes and goggles that work extremely well in the heat and the sand.

The chilled glove sounds like a really cool idea, and even better if they can extend it to a body suit. Temperatures are insane over there. It's easily 100 to 110+ outside and when you have your body armour and other gear on, your temperature is probably 5-10 degrees more than that.

Modern warfare relies on better equipped soldiers in addition to language skills or cultural knowledge or whatever. So please, before you knock on these new ideas, consider what soldiers actually think.

From what I see on gay TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18377131)

"That money would be better spent on teaching soldiers some arabic. Seriously."

Or quit firing them because they're gay.

Re:From what I see on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18377271)

What do you mean, MAY be hostile to US troops? Of course they are going to be hostile! You guys keeping shooting yourselves and allies, who the heck wants your troops around? If the US doesn't get a handle on the friendly fire situation soon, nobody is going to want to have anything to do with you. If the friendlies can't trust you, how the heck are the non-combatants you are supposedly there to help going to trust you?

President's Council on Bioethics (1)

loafing_oaf (1054200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376319)

It's a bit laughable that the president has any ethics councils. If anyone is writing a sequel to Demolition Man, now is the time to gather material.

But he Does have a council... (1)

DelawareBoy (757170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376631)

There is a council.... However, it's staffed by people who are sympathetic to Christian Fundamentalism, as opposed to having a wide range of opinions. So since the council has very very similar beliefs to the President, it is no wonder that people don't believe it exists... They don't challenge him at all..

They don't ask what is the right thing.. They ask, "What Would James Dobson Do?" (WWJDD).

If we could just get rid of that conscience (1)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376341)

We would have the ideal soldier/worker/CEO. It's done by selection pretty well with CEO's, but still the soldiers come back with PTSD and guilt. I have read where there are drugs in development that will prevent the recording of memories for operational efficiency and protection of human assets from PTSD and guilt. War is a feature of humanity, unfortunately. Is it a good idea to let the need to win create technology that removes humanity from the equation?

Re:If we could just get rid of that conscience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376687)

War is a feature of humanity, unfortunately. Is it a good idea to let the need to win create technology that removes humanity from the equation?
Depends on whether or not you like losing. "the need to win" is pretty much predicated by the losers almost always getting the short end of the stick.

Not having a conscience and winning versus having a conscience and losing. Having a conscience and losing might work OK for unimportant, insignificant things like competitive sports but totally sucks in regards to more important, significant things like the future of your country and the lives of your citizens.

Playing nice in war is a great way to lose.

probable, not practical (1)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376363)

This sounds completely awesome, but probably won't be put into anyone outside of special forces/SEALS. It would be awesome if ANY military did this to anyone, but the old saying goes:

"Overspecialize and you breed in weakness."

Whatever decent advancement is made, nothing can compare to raw experience. Some helpful things like the cooling blood would be nice or an enhanced exoskeleton, but outside of the specialized units these wouldn't be practical or cost effective.

Pilot squadron of aerial drones (1)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376411)

Why do research on piloting a squadron of aerial drones? Haven't these people ever played an RTS? It's easy to control a squadron of units -you just offload the tactical decisions to the units themselves and deliver only high level, strategic commands. You can even leave the option of controlling individual units open.

Re:Pilot squadron of aerial drones (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376935)

Why do research on piloting a squadron of aerial drones? Haven't these people ever played an RTS? It's easy to control a squadron of units -you just offload the tactical decisions to the units themselves and deliver only high level, strategic commands.

Have YOU ever played a RTS? Those aircraft are firing every which way, missing all kinds of shots and throwing crap everywhere. They also have a tendency to make unnecessary turns when they could just be turning towards something and delivering the coup de grace. If it's that hard to get AI to make intelligent decisions in a video game where everything is virtual and every unit knows the precise coordinates of everything within sensor range, how much trouble do you think it's going to be to do it in the really real world?

The Glove (2, Interesting)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376431)

Even they were astounded at how well it seemed to work. Vinh Cao, their squat, barrel-chested lab technician, used to do almost 100 pull-ups every time he worked out. Then one day he cooled himself off between sets with an early prototype. The next round of pull-ups -- his 11th -- was as strong as his first. Within six weeks, Cao was doing 180 pull-ups a session. Six weeks after that, he went from 180 to more than 600...In trying to figure out why the Glove worked so well, its inventors ended up challenging conventional scientific wisdom on fatigue. Muscles don't wear out because they use up stored sugars, the researchers said. Instead, muscles tire because they get too hot, and sweating is just a backup cooling system for the lattices of blood vessels in the hands and feet. The Glove, in other words, overclocks the heat exchange system. "It's like giving a Honda the radiator of a Mack truck," Heller says. After four months of using it himself, Heller did 1,000 push-ups on his 60th birthday in April 2003.

Any suggestions on how to test this using common household items? Would a simple cooler of ice work?

Re:The Glove (1)

brendanoconnor (584099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376831)

I don't think what you said would work at all. Putting your hand in a cooler of ice would actually cause your hand to shut down the radiator feature. From the article:

Grahn watched sled dogs through an infrared camera--and saw snouts and ears lit up like headlamps, indicating that the dogs were shedding excess body heat. But the cameras showed no heat loss through the dogs' feet. Snow under their paws prevented those radiators from opening. Heller and Grahn have found in the lab that the temperature under which the radiators shut down in humans is highly individual.

It kind of sounds like they use vacuum to remove the heat from the blood that circulates in the hand, which then goes directly back to the heart, and is then redistributed to the rest of the body, causing the entire body to cool faster.

Brendan

Possible civilian use (5, Funny)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376469)

So, this is a glove that reduces hand fatigue, huh? Yeah, so, uh, have they tested it to see the effects of getting baby oil or hand lotion on it? And are the palms abrasive at all? I mean, just out of curiosity. Because I like science, and stuff.

Re:Possible civilian use (2, Interesting)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376627)

Actually, it reduces muscle fatigue by 'supercharging' the body's coolant system, also know as blood. You can do the same effect with much less efficiency by running cold water over the hands. We have been playing with the concept at work. I went from 15 pushups in 10 pushup sets to 55 pushups in 10 pushup sets with 2 minutes of hand cooling between sets. Yes, I am out of shape.

Is this a regular crappy Wired article or a user.. (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376509)

Is this a regular crappy Wired article or a user-generated crappy Wired article? I'm just dying to know...

too much sleep? (4, Interesting)

rasputin465 (1032646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376515)

projects designed to increase cognition or decrease the need for sleep

Yeah, it's called 'meth', and Nazi soldiers used it while conducting Blitzkrieg. Not a new development.

This is not what we need. (2, Insightful)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376553)

Why is it that it never seems to occur to the people in a position to actually do anything about that what we need is not more high technology for our soldiers, but more good, old-fashioned, well-trained human brain power and muscle power on the ground? Don't get me wrong, there is a place for technology on the battlefield, but it's the people that make it all work.

Re:This is not what we need. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376713)

Because, human brain power and muscle power isn't going to save you from the zergling rush! :P

Re:This is not what we need. (1)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377325)

How do you say "Do you want a piece of me, boy?" in Arabic? Is that in the phrasebook?

Re:This is not what we need. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377217)

Why is it that it never seems to occur to the people in a position to actually do anything about that what we need is not more high technology for our soldiers, but more good, old-fashioned, well-trained human brain power and muscle power on the ground?

Why is it that it doesn't occur to you that if we make successful use of higher technology, an individual soldier can accomplish more, and thus we can hire less stupid people into the military because we have less of a need for warm bodies?

The military has been forced to pick up tons of minorities who have been deliberately kept separate from education by the government because they need warm bodies.

Presidential Support? (1, Funny)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376597)

This bears all the hallmarks of strong backing by the US president. Dubious ethics and even more dubious english!

Universal Soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376715)

Anyone else remember that movie? With the exception of, y'know, the whole raising the dead schtick this technology seems remarkably familiar.

Dr. Furter works for the military now? (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18376727)

Dr. Furter: I've built tomorrow's soldier. Well Brad and Janet, what do you think of him?

Janet: Well, I don't like men with too many muscles.

Dr. Furter: I didn't make him for you! ... He carries the Charles Atlas seal of approval.

Re:Dr. Furter works for the military now? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377059)

Janet: Well, I don't like men with too many muscles.

(Just one big one)

Dr. Furter: I didn't make him for you! ... He carries the Charles Atlas seal of approval.

ARP ARP ARP ARP ARP

Tomorrow's...Today? WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18376821)

The Stanford article is from 2005. Thanks for the 'news'.

Re:Tomorrow's...Today? WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18377107)

And, AVACore Tech website's In The News, links to a Slate article from March 2004, titled Tomorrow's Soldiers Today.

Not so sure (4, Informative)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377135)

Besides the obvious military and athletics applications, the technology is also potentially useful for firefighters, stroke victims, and people with multiple sclerosis.

As a volunteer firefighter I have my doubts. Generally the ability to sense heat is a good thing fighting a fire. I remember the days before nomex hoods were common. Our ears functioned as heat detectors. People would think we were listening at the door but we were actually checking to see if it was hot. Now with nomex hoods you have to take your glove off or pull your jacket sleeve up to figure out if the room is hot or feel a door. I can tell you firefighters hate checking for hot doors with their hands. We have thermal cameras but not enough for every entry team. Besides, that's just one more piece of crap we have to carry. Not to mention we also have to carry it back out, sometimes also toting some fat ass (it's always the fat, ugly ones passing out, never thin, attractive people). We carry enough crap now.

Now wildland firefighters or approach teams, who spend longer amounts of time in hot areas, might find it useful...if they feel like packing it around, but not us truckies. Put the wet stuff on the hot stuff and go home.

Re:Not so sure (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377235)

As a volunteer firefighter I have my doubts. Generally the ability to sense heat is a good thing fighting a fire.

The device doesn't prevent you from sensing heat. It cools your insides before it cools your outsides, because it works by cooling the blood that flows through your hand.

With that said, it's probably not going to be much use in a fire. It's going to be something that, for the forseeable future, has to be carried around by a vehicle (or the military's exoskeleton) because heat pumps require significant surface area for heat exchange with the atmosphere, and quite a bit of energy to run.

i RTFA (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18377183)

in the paper magazine, actually, and i was really impressed that the glove application works in opposite too. at the end of the article, it describes how they put the reporter in a pool of ice cubes, and waited until his thoughts were sluggish and he started seeing things as if through a tunnel (hypothermia setting in) and then they put a WARMING version of the glove on his hands and his mental faculties perked right back up

pretty amazing: the human body and modern processors have the same problem and same solution: they can be overclocked with radically improved heat dissipation (or heat injection, in the example above)
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