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Science & Technology

US Army develops 'Third Arm' exoskeleton

By T.K. Randall
June 3, 2018 · Comment icon 8 comments



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."



Source: US Army | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
I wonder if the military might get smart and start watching movies like Aliens. Could've built that system years ago, with the addition of body armor.
Comment icon #2 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
Seriously? Look at the harness not the fake firearm.
Comment icon #3 Posted by acute 5 years ago
They have definitely been watching too many sci-fi movies. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by danydandan 5 years ago
I'm just glad it isn't a third leg.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
It's just a steady-cam harness. But I bet it costs 10 times as much, lol.
Comment icon #6 Posted by and then 5 years ago
First thing I thought of too... credit to the XFish...
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
This could give the military's "Short arm inspection" a whole new meaning!
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
A split-harness over the soldiers shoulders and attached to a lower back-belt with upper thigh straps seems would be better.


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