Taiwan has made a battery-powered exoskeleton suit that will allow its soldiers to run faster and carry heavy objects.
This is the first-generation suit made by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, according to The South China Morning Post. The suit is a part of a four-year project called the “Taiwan Ironman program.” It has a budget of $5.74 million and the goal of providing Taiwan’s soldiers with a lower-body exoskeleton to increase their strength and endurance.
“To reduce fatigue of soldiers in carrying heavy facilities… we started developing the powered suit for the military in 2020,” Jen Kuo-Kuang, head developer of the project, said in comments at a news conference obtained by the SCMP.
It has been said that the suit will decrease the stress on the leg and hip joints. This enables its wearer to lift and carry heavier objects over larger distances, and at speeds up to four miles per hour.
“They can be used in field operations and movement of ammunition and heavy-duty weapons, and can increase the mobility and efficiency of the troops in wartime and post-disaster rescue missions,” Jen said at the conference.
Taiwan is also planning to launch version 2.0 of the suit, which will allow the users to carry up to 220lbs of weight. This could help the injured in the battle greatly.
This is the response to the tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, which still views the island as its territory. Despite official US statements instigating peace, China scrambled a number of warplanes into Taiwanese airspace earlier this month.
China’s People’s Liberation Army also unveiled a similar suit for its soldiers’ use earlier this year. Let’s hope they do not have to use it though.