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The military and research often move forward together. As a result, the most advanced technologies are in the hands of the military. Here is an anthology of these, whether experimental or really used.



  In a less spectacular but much more up-to-date record, the Norwegian army is using the Oculus Rift virtual reality helmet to give more visibility to its tank pilots. Connected to cameras on the outside of the vehicle, the helmet provides a fuller exterior view than the limited field of view directly inside the tank. This is not a video game! [/ tie_slide]03E8000008038594-photo-07-tank-oculus

03E8000008038620-photo-08-meshwormWhen it comes to designing robots with confusing uses, engineers take inspiration from nature. The Meshworm is proof of this: this robot, created by researchers at MIT, Harvard University and the Seoul National University, is inspired by the movements of the earthworm.

Very flexible and very resistant, the Meshworm can slip into the narrowest places to make a reconnaissance where it is impossible to go. One can imagine the use that the army could make of such a robot. It’s possible to see it moving in this MIT video . [/ tie_slide]

03E8000008036460-photo-thermal-vision-01 To locate and target a target, the military currently uses two separate devices: night vision goggles, and a thermal viewfinder mounted on their weapon. The big problem is that this combination slows the speed of action of the soldier.

The US Army and BAE Systems have worked together to create a 2 in 1 system. The result is that the thermal system is now mounted on the soldier’s weapon, and the visual information is sent via Bluetooth to a screen attached to his helmet. A time and efficiency gain that has convinced the military: a $ 434 million contract has been signed with BAE to develop the technology for the next five years. [/ tie_slide]

03E8000008036540-photo-talosIn defense research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, is behind some spectacular projects. Let’s mention in the first place TALOS, or Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, an exoskeleton intended to equip the soldiers of the Army.

Among the improvements made by this Iron Man armor: night vision, increased physical strength and protection against bullets or fire. The set is designed not to weigh too heavily, and help the soldier less tiring to perform longer. This very serious project has been developed for several years by 56 companies, 16 government agencies, 13 universities and 10 American laboratories. [/ Tie_slide]

Shooting at the sniper rifle requires obvious training and mastery … except, perhaps, with a TrackingPoint guided sniper rifle. This intelligent rifle is equipped with a compass, a ballistic computer, an inertial unit, a laser range finder, a microphone, and multiple sensors for wind speed, pressure, and temperature. Also found on the viewfinder, a 14 megapixel camera, lasers and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The software part exploits Linux: all the calculations are done in the heart of the viewfinder, even if it is possible to broadcast the data and the video stream on a tablet or a smartphone. Once the shooter has the target in its viewfinder, the TrackingPoint takes care of all calculations to ensure the perfect shot. It only takes a few shots to a beginner to hit a target located more than 400 meters. One can easily imagine the potential of such a weapon in the wrong hands. [/ Tie_slide]


03E8000008036676-photo-ball-04-RC Recently introduced by DARPA, the project EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance, or EXACTO is a weapon whose bullets should be able to follow the target, so that the target is hit even if it is moving.

The test published on video shows the trajectory of this intelligent ball (in green) able to deviate from its trajectory to reach its target. The way this technology works is, for now, unknown, except that DARPA has specified that the bullet is controlled remotely and in real time via an optical system. [/ tie_slide]

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03E8000008038264-photo-05-turn If it is more of a concept than some other technologies, BAE Systems (still them) has in its cartons a project of plane able to be divided in three parts, with the aim of covering more than flight surface longer, and saving fuel. The use of separate parts may vary: one can imagine that those sides provide a mission of protection for the head, for example.

The concept can be visualized in video . [/ tie_slide]


03E8000008038348-photo-06-spot Acquired by Google in 2013, the robotics company Boston Dynamics is working for DARPA among other things. Among his most recent creations is Spot, a quadruped robot with a dog-like attitude . Equipped with four legs with hydraulic suspension and multiple sensors, this robot is able to analyze its environment in real time and restore its balance in the most perilous situations.

It is currently being tested by the US Army in real conditions, but its use has not been disclosed. [/ Tie_slide]

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