In 2005 we witnessed many soldiers coming back from the War in Iraq with missing limbs, which were literally blown off by roadside bombs, mortars and improvised explosive devices. Some soldiers lost limbs from incoming RPGs or rocket propelled grenades. As unfortunate as this was for many a father coming home unable to hold their kids in their arms, it was a chance for the medical profession to test out and prove decades of research and perfecting of prosthetic devices to allow people who have been in horrific accidents full use of their bodies again. The amount of research and hard work going into these devices is truly remarkable and it brings back visions of the “Six Million Dollar Man” as Steve Austin was not only repaired but was “better, faster and stronger!”
The military is also looking into exo-skeleton systems which can be used by a human who has all their limbs working properly, which will assist them in moving faster, carrying more and not getting tired at all along the way. Able to hike through rough terrain 50 miles or march 100 miles in one days time carrying 50 plus pounds of gear. In 2006 we will see those dreams become much closer to reality. We will also see research done to allow the exo-skelton system to regulate itself, monitor the body functions of the soldier and even sense and incoming mortar round and accelerate out of the way. All this is on the horizon and you can bet researchers are working hard to make it happen. So be thinking on this in 2006.
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