Remember Drake and Vasquez’ smart guns from Aliens, or the surgically invasive exoskeletal hardware from Elysium? As opposed to ghost rings, reflex sights or lasers, they provided a passive targeting system to increase the accuracy of their operators, and decreased their battle weariness. In case of the Smart Gun, the fluff said that it had a guided mode – making it an ambulatory equivalent to the Remote Sentries from the Special Edition that were completely unmanned. And the harness and gyro-stabilized mount for the gun (and the camera it was designed for) made for a stable firing platform.
Seems we’re ‘aiming’ at active auto targeting for the warfighters of the future. Based on the same type of strap-on physical therapy devices used to treat stroke victims and sufferers of Traumatic brain Injury, the MAXFAS is less exoskeletal suit and more of an automatic traction system that stabilizes and prevents the muscular tremors in tired hands and arms from throwing off the operator’s aim.
I own and use firearms. And I can tell you that just a two-hour trip to the range can leave your upper body and arms pretty tired- no matter what condition you’re in. Whatever their state of physical fitness, any member of a combat arms unit endures some of the most punishing conditions a human can take. Carrying a 100lb pack mile after mile through the mud or sand in a place where the locals might not want you to continue breathing would exhaust anyone.
Take a stick or a laser pointer and hold it at arm’s length and try to hold it absolutely still. No matter how hard you try, after a few moments that stick or laser dot will be zipping all over the place. Take that same uncontrollable tremor over a hundred yards or so – a typical range for modern engagements and exchange a rifle for the laser – that muscular tremor can lead to a shot grouping measured in feet.
Enter the MAXFAS. Developed by Dan Bachele, mechanical engineer at the US Army Research Lab in Adelphi, Maryland, the skeletal brace not only mechanically prevents muscular microtremors from spoiling a weary warrior’s aim through force feedback, it also seems to reduce the levels of tremor after the device is worn through several sessions. So it also still can be used as a therapy device, and possibly a splint to immobilize injured limbs.
Bachele is hoping to one day make the unit light enough to add to the warfighter’s already heavy load. Though It can probably also be used in conjunction with other exoskeleton projects that don’t concentrate much on the hands and arms. I’m just glad it’s not surgically installed.
Having less weary, more accurate foot infantry, what’s not to like? Probably the increase in Battle Value score.
Well Bargained, and Done.