7 Real-Life Military Technologies That are Straight Out of Science Fiction

Monday, 08 June 2015 - 5:57PM
Weird Science
Monday, 08 June 2015 - 5:57PM
7 Real-Life Military Technologies That are Straight Out of Science Fiction
If there's one thing science fiction loves to predict, it's future warfare. Unfortunately, the real world is offering up plenty of inspiration for speculative warfare writers, and it would seem that more and more we're seeing those insane technologies make the leap from page and screen straight onto real life battlefields. Here are seven technologies the U.S. military is working on right now that seem to draw inspiration from comic books and space operas.

Spider-Man Gloves

Drawing inspiration from the wall climbing abilities of geckos, the Z-Man Program has created a synthetic material that mimics the millions of tiny fibers on a gecko's feet that allow them to cling to virtually any surface. While still in the early stages of development, Z-Man material was applied to two paddles which allowed a 218 lb. man to scale a 25 foot glass wall in a demonstration. Now if only they can incorporate a web shooter...

Iron Man Suit

Tony Stark got his start in building weapons for the military, so it's no surprise the military wants some Stark tech of their own. And they're working on it with the TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit). Commonly referred to as the Iron Man suit, though looking more like the armor soldiers wear in Halo, the creators of TALOS aim to have it completed and ready for use by 2018. The final suit aims to be bullet-proof, increase the wearer's strength and speed, house an array of weapons systems, and even monitor the wearer's health and injuries. Don't worry Mr. Stark TALOS still can't fly.
Iron Man: 1, Pentagon: 0.

Super Strength

If you don't want to wait three years for a TALOS suit, then we recommend the XOS 2 exoskeleton. This suit is already functional, and it even received a S.H.I.E.L.D. seal of approval when Clark Gregg (aka Agent Coulson) tried it out in the video above. Unlike TALOS , this suit isn't meant for battle, but rather for loading and moving heavy equipment. Donning the suit, which looks remarkably like the tech worn by Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, operators are able to lift up to 400lbs with ease.

Master of Magnetism

We always thought that Magneto was a total boss, and it looks like the military feels the same way. They're working on something called MAHEM, or Magneto-Hydrodynamic Explosive Munitions, which could destroy vehicles by launching a jet stream of liquid metal from a shoulder-mounted electromagnetic device. The stream then solidifies in midair before piercing through whatever it's been aimed at. In addition to the obvious Magneto comparisons, the weapon bears an even stronger resemblance to a weapon called the stiletto from Arthur C. Clarke's 1955 novel, Earthlight. It only took us 60 years to catch up to Clarke's imagination. Why can't we put more effort into creating Flying Cars instead of thinking up wacky new ways to kill people?

Curving Bullets

Remember that movie Wanted? No? It's the one where people could make bullets curve after shooting them. See, now you remember, and so apparently do some military researchers. In another example of a ridiculously comic book-like acronym, EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance) ammunition is capable of changing direction mid-flight so as to never miss its target... even if said target is moving. You can watch an insane demo video where an amateur fires EXACTO rounds out of an ordinary rifle from a great distance and hits a moving target every time. Target practice just got a whole lot easier.

Health Regeneration

While the military isn't working on retractable adamantium claws (that we know of), they are developing ways for the human body to heal itself, just like Wolverine. And while the technology won't allow someone to recover from a gunshot to the face like ol' canucklehead, it may be able to treat diseases like arthritis and PTSD. ElectRx is still in the research phase, but its ultimate goal is to create tiny Nano sensors, which can be injected into a patient before attaching themselves to the patient's brain where they can instruct the nervous system on how to heal the body from the inside out. The applications for the project only go as far as treating diseases of the brain, but considering how rampant PTSD is in the military, it could prove to be a very useful tool. Unless of course the nanobots take over their human hosts which, knowing nanobots, they very well may.

Laser Beams!

The Pentagon recently stated they want laser cannons on fighter jets by the year 2022. Well, we say to that: what took you so long? We've wanted lasers on planes since Star Wars! Luckily, not all military lasers are being created for the purpose of killing; the Navy is already using laser cannons on war ships to destroy incoming projectiles . A 30 kilowatt laser cannon was tested (on video) in December, and is capable of destroying targets instantly with stunning accuracy. And it turns out lasers are more than just cool, they're practical, too. While firing a conventional missile can cost a cool $2 million per shot, the laser checks in at just under 60 cents per shot. That's roughly 3,333,333 laser blasts for every missile. The 30 kilowatt model is just the start too, because there's already work underway on a 150 kilowatt model. Pew Pew!

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