By Mark Riffee | Wired.com
Soldiers: Your underwear of the future will do more than prevent crotch rot. It’ll protect you from injuries, monitor your vitals, and even “harvest” your energy. That is, if a new project from Darpa’s Defense Sciences Office works out as planned. That’s an illustration, to the right, of what Darpa thinks its “Warrior Web” onesie might look like.
So far, the project is still in the draw-a-cartoon-with-a-six-pack-in-tights stage — a long way off from the “adaptive, compliant, nearly transparent, quasi-active joint support suit,” which can “mitigate musculoskeletal injury caused by discrete dynamic events while maintaining soldier performance,” dreamed up by Darpa. An introductory meeting of potential researchers is set for mid-October.
Musculoskeletal injuries (a blanket term for anything from pain caused by overuse to stress fractures and joint derangements) are a real problem in the military. According to a 2010 study, there were 743,547 injury-related musculoskeletal conditions amongst military personnel in 2006. In 2004, 44 percent of military fatalities resulted from unintentional injuries. These Achilles tendon strains, torn meniscuses, and sore labrums slow our soldiers down, rendering them less effective and placing them in more danger.
To read more, visit: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/darpa-underwear/