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DARPA's jetpack will help soldiers run faster, stronger

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posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 11:30 AM

Full Story and Video here

Sugar explains in the video that they started by working on robots and exosuit-like devices that could help amputees, but DARPA came and asked if they could build devices that would augment able-bodied people — and soldiers in particular. That's how they ended up focusing on jetpacks.

Kerestes joined the team as a engineer and roboticist with a welding background. With that, he could help design a prototype jetpack and then weld it together the next day.

Putting a lot of recent DARPA projects together... most notably their Iron Man battle suit... surely a fully armored suit would be bulky and heavy, slowing down a trooper considerably right?

Why not give then a little jet assist, a literal kick in the pants to get them moving?

As a Grunt I wouldn't like the idea of humping an additional 11.2 pound jetpack, not with everything else a Jar Head has to pack. and I'm sure the noise pretty much gives away your position.

On it's own it seems more silly than tactual... but added to a robotic battle suit... it starts to make sense.

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 11:47 AM
The real problem with battle suits is the powering of them over time, these sort of things could be good to allow troops to quickly go from a to b to be able to reach positions that perhaps they are unable to reach via helicopter drop/normal vehicles at speed and then could be discarded and then carry on as normal

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 11:58 AM
That device is completely worthless. Not only would it add additional weight, it will also be making the body work a lot harder and induce fatigue far sooner than desired. Imagine if you had to run on the beach with that on, your legs would feel like jelly within 200 meters. I believe the extra weight added would negate the small gains they are getting.

But of course, this wouldn't be used as a stand alone fix all I hope lol.
edit on 9/13/2014 by eXia7 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 01:02 PM
I agree with the guy above, it doesnt really add a whole lot to be worth the cost and the weight and the power source.

Also, it looks totally stupid.

posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 01:12 PM
a reply to: HardCorps

Battle suits aren't realistic. A more fitting thing, would be a "survival suit", something that would work as an outer shield ... more like "man of steel" kind of thang, than "iron man" kind of thing. Something that harnesses moisture, and loss of salt ... can have airflow control in it, for oxygen, etc. And even camouflage. A soldier, needs to be able to hide from infrared, and intensity-inverted cameras.

posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 01:27 AM
a reply to: HardCorps

Moving faster via jetpack over rough terrain sounds like an accident with larger impact just waiting to happen. Useful for short duration then.... discard? So, what are we up to in gearing up a single soldier these days? Half a million dollars apiece? I'm SURE the arms dealers just LOVE this! Spending ourselves into debt for a shaving of time off running over smooth ground? Not stealthy, not good except for straightaways, probably power hungry and limited use time, and what happens if this gets hit by a bullet? Does the source of power explode or is it well armored with more weight? Like I said, I'm sure the arms manufacturers and dealers love this kind of idea. Does it come with extra rubber armor so the soldier can bounce of what he ends up hitting at higher speed? Just soooo many reasons NOT to do this!

posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 01:48 AM
I think it is a rad concept. The reason I think that- is because when I read about the guys backround- it was like reading a backround of myself. I am in Electronics and I have a welding backround myself- and I constantly think of stuff like this.
How to better our technology and stretching the imagination to the max is NEVER a bad thing.

That said- I thought the design would look different. With todays technology- And considering this is from DARPA- I kind of expected more- but I havent read the design schematics so I am still curious of what they did.
I do like the rockets though =) I dont know much about rockets- I mostly understand micro electronics, nothing about propulsion though.

That said- I also have a military backround in the Marine Corps that actually went sour- but I have been on enough humps and runs as a marine to last me 4 lifetimes. We would carry 80+ lb packs with weapons on long runs- So an extra 11 lbs for hardcore TRAINED troops- would be sucky- but troops only hump with what they need per mission. A rocket behind the ass
might not be a bad idea if they can make it stealth by noise cancelation if at all possible yet.

I will share this story- just because I think it is cool.

Good find.

posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 10:42 PM
a reply to: jaxnmarko

An accident waiting to happen is correct. There is absolutely no point in this. It's kind of a "hold my beer and watch this!" kind of moment.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 10:39 PM
That Jet pack sucks ... Sucks HARD.

There's several guys in the hackaday ecosystem that are designing and building stuff successfully that both reduces caloric intake while increasing top speed... It also substantially reduces the likelihood of you know ... having a knee where your kidney used to be.

As far as the repeated comments of battlesuits require too much power....



But if Lockheed built off the MIT early Pattern instead of the Berzerkley early pattern they wouldn't be able to charge more than most of us would pay or a 4 bedroom 2 and a half bath in the GOOD school district!!!

Instead they'd only be able to charge as much as a Lexus SUV which... How the hell are they supposed to pay dividends and the colossal write downs the F-35 is about to cause them on that kind of profit margin?

I mean 30 thousand would get bought instead of 36 and program cancellation... but then they'd have to.. you know OPEN FACTORIES AND PAY NORMAL PEOPLE.


Oh yeah did I mention that the OTHER one used about 3000 times less power on a sustained basis than BLEEX now HULC?

edit on 9-11-2014 by roguetechie because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:48 PM
a reply to: HardCorps

This dam jet pack disaster has cost the Army millions over 50 years and I think its about time they give up. The only real solution is an Iron Man type suit. Making the soldier bullet proof and stronger so caring packs and the extra weight of the suit does not slow them down as that crap is beyond ridiculous anymore.

Making our men carry 90 pound packs is just stupid. When they get shot at they all have to fall to the ground and roll around like bumbling idiots half the time to just get the dam things off so they can fight.

If you cant air drop or drive supplies to your troops then you should not send them there in the first place for more than a day anyway. This problem is killing our men and also ruining their backs.

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: HardCorps

Im not impressed by an 18 second difference on a mile run.

But i understand the point of saving energy what a few seconds could possibly mean in a life and death situation.

edit on 12/25/2014 by onequestion because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 08:43 PM
a reply to: onequestion

I wasn't either until I watched the last video and he said they only shaved a few seconds off the time but at the same time he was carrying 11 extra pounds. This is just in its infant stages they are still basically doing a proof of concept. They could probably shave at least 7 pounds if they went with carbon fiber. then you have developments with lighter batteries and micro boards for circuitry. Sometimes these things are developed then they find a niche elsewhere. I kept thinking that if those turbofans were placed differently if someone was skydiving they could cover some distance with a squirrel suit before deploying their chute.

This isn't about your post but I noticed this thread has suffered from what many threads have suffered. People posting before actually reading into the development. These things are jetpacks only in name at this point. As I said before those are turbofans. There is no jet fuel the whole thing runs on batteries. The thing is pretty quite. Again this looks to be in its infancy stage. DARPA funds all kinds of things not all of the developments wind up in military service actually a huge amount of them wind up in the civilian market many such as this probably are not all that costly to fund the researchers.

Overall it is a cool idea but at this stage at least it isn't practical at all although I do think it is worth developing out to see where it leads to.
edit on 25-12-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 09:55 PM

The funny thing is add that MIiT exoskeleton to a device to enhance soldier mobility long ago but failed at the time due to easily rectifiable issues that shall remain nameless. Combine it with my solution to the problem with current exo design that makes power issues look like a speed bump... (yeah not divulging the problem or solution lol). Slightly tweak and refine already existing and dirt cheap impact and ballistic protection are covered.

Spend at worst 3 million attempting to validate a technology that should work and tuning it for mass production.. that'd at worst run about 800k. You only near 3 million if switching to a safer backup power option that still is light years above current offerings, already proven, and would provide massive force multipliers by making your operative more effective for longer in extreme conditions, and in more average conditions significantly boost peak performance. Either option would allow a 3-5 day power supply for the suit and other electronics on carried stores. Our guys can't do this now...

There's a bunch more I'm not even going to hint at or etc.

But what you should take away from this comment is that IF THEY WANTED TO the defense establishment could develop a system in under a year that leveraged existing technology that just needs slight optimization for the application. But then they'd only be able to sell them for a reasonable price, and hundreds or even thousands of NSN items that are all insanely overpriced would go away overnight....

Even worse in their minds though, it would allow whole swathes of current development programs to be drastically revised in ways that no longer justify costly and ultimately breakdown causing accelerated wear. In short it would allow much larger procurements of systems which work better, last longer, and provide much less opportunity for expensive parts consulting and lucrative system redesign or life extension tenders...

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 10:02 PM
Battle suit lol sounds like plate mail now all they need is a new crusade...

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 10:24 PM
I'm not sure the answer is soldiers running faster by being pushed, even lighter suits, do you ever grab a car and see how fast you can run until your legs can't keep up, it's onlya matter of time before you fall over, and ask Carl Lewis to run flat out through a forest, see if his speed is a benefit or a hindrance, or go running through an enemy controlled town and see if speed is better than stealth!

I like the idea of mules taking the weight off soldiers and carrying them out of battle and bringing in ammo, or heavy mech providing perimeter defence, could change the face of warfare. Of course it is horses for courses, urban warfare, open warfare, spec ops, just don't see Medal of Honour Advance Warfare type soldiers flying around cities any time soon.

posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 12:46 AM
a reply to: TheCrowMan

posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 02:00 AM
a reply to: TheCrowMan
My position is that a tiered approach needs to be pursued. For example a more modest primarily lower body and spinal column reinforcing suit whose primary use is to keep the perceived burden of weight carried to around 25-30 pounds when a soldier is actually toting 125-150 pounds in armor gear weapons etc. If that goal is met and the power budget is there, then we focus on first off incorporating sensors and actuator/accumulator packs designed to help the soldier control his now substantially increased inertia... Also I'd very much work towards getting the accumulators to absorb as much of the energy from things like running downhill above what is needed for the user to maintain pace without extra caloric cost over what he'd burn doing the same thing with 25 pounds of gear on. That alone would increase useful range greatly and do much to vastly reduce the chronic injury patterns seen in soldiers. I'd also insist on a set of features that in the event of it sensing a bearing body position and velocity that exceed a threshold value the accumulators and actuators absorb and or redirect every bit of energy they can while working to damp uncontrolled movement caused by physics not user input. This same system could even help deliberate motion simultaneously.
. also by suspending the hard armor off of your exoskeleton it creates several simultaneous beneficial opportunities. 1. Infrared signature management / very efficient and performance enhancing user temperature management: simply put if you're wearing a suit that keeps both extremes of temperature at bay and your enemy isn't... It's a huge advantage. 2. More protection for a given weight of armor: it's been known for decades that a half inch of armor steel in a single full thickness sheet is much less effective than two layers with an air space between. Also these air spaces over the vital organs would give limited protection against overpressure injuries from detonations nearby. also the configuration I proposed here would be very conducive to eventual inclusion of a mobility enhancement package that's removable and could even integrate a removable swim aid for navy seals. also a less ambitious suit with modular architecture would allow upgrades to be procured over time. A good example of how I'd do this is powering radios computers weapon sights night vision etc. Initially I'd purposely design the power supply to be capable of supplying 100 watts of power to a charger system capable of charging any of the batteries they use. Then I'd order 3 sets of something like this product I saw on kickstarter that assembled ultracapacitor packs shaped like common battery types. They were not cheap but neither are 20 packs of cr123's! But the ultracaps are good for enough cycles that it's almost guaranteed they will be lost destroyed or etc before reaching end of life. Also it greatly reduces BULK and weight for the end user AND at the strategic level the reduced cubic volume and weight that needs transported into theatre and less warehouse space to patrol secure and harden at firebases in country. Also by using the ultracaps you get a very quick charging cycle that on base could mean that when at chow you take your tray out of a numbered slot and rack your batteries in chargers in each tray slot. Allowing charging to happen while you eat. You then rack your tray retrieve your fully charged packs and go about your day. This would vastly streamline and reduce infrastructure needs on base, reduce confusion, and overall save money and personnel

posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 04:22 AM
This is probably the absolute worst idea that has come out of DARPA I mean cmon seriously your not outrunning bullets or any other munition just silly to even show this bad tech out of the shame factor alone.

Que the evil laughter anyone who see's this on the battlefield will have.


posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 05:00 AM
If you can't, or don't need to use the pack all the time, it's just going to be useless and a hindrance. It will slow a soldier when not in use, not to mention the issue of trying to wear it under your other gear.

We had the same problem when we given a new body armour to test that was apparently .50 proof. It had huge plates that covered most of the torso back and front, and an additional trauma shock absorbing pad under those. It weighed 35lb. After one patrol we said we'd rather wear nothing and run faster.....and be able to fit our gear over the top!


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