A soldier demonstrating a prototype 'Third Arm' system. Image Credit: U.S. Army / Conrad Johnson
The unique device acts as a third limb, enabling soldiers to aim and fire heavier weapons during combat.
Developed by engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the device, which is officially titled 'Third Arm', is both lightweight and works without requiring a power source.
"It can help stabilize the weapon and take the load off of their arms," said mechanical engineer Dan Baechle. "It's made from composite materials to make it as light as possible, but also to ensure the range of motion that soldiers need."
"We've actually tested it with the M249 and M240B machines guns. The M240B weighs 27lb, and we were able to show that you can take the weight of that weapon completely off of the Soldiers' arms."
Whether or not the device is likely to see use during live combat however remains unclear.
"Right now it's a prototype device, and it's a fairly early stage prototype device," said Baechle. "It's been getting a lot of interest higher up in the Army, but also online with some of the stories that have come out. We're using some of the interest to help motivate further development of the device."