Military Transformers: 20 Innovative Defense Technologies
May 15, 2012 11:00 AM Department of Defense technologies under development, from brainy microchips to battlefield transformer vehicles, promise to make the U.S. military more nimble. Here's a visual tour of 20 breakthrough ideas.
Some projects promise a better life for wounded soldiers. Last September, a mechanical arm was controlled by a volunteer with tetraplegia (characterized by loss of use of the limbs and torso) via his brain signals, a breakthrough in the control of a prosthetic arm. Development of the prosthetic limb was overseen by Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, with funding from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Next, UPMC and Caltech researchers will conduct trials aimed at achieving brain control of advanced mechanical limbs by volunteers with spinal cord injuries in DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program.