Iron Man was wonderful, every bit of what the trailers promised–adventure, humor, and a huge dose of gosh-wow. Of course, the idea of military exoskeletons are not new. It’s been in science fiction for a long time. More recently, Dan Brown used the idea in his thriller Act of War. In fact, if you think about it, it becomes clear that airplanes, ships, and tanks are all exoskeletons. So this is all old hat. But when did we ever need a brand-spanking new idea to have a wonderful and new story? What’s important is what the do with the idea–the characters, problem, plot, and setting. And Iron Man does a wonderful job of imagining new twists on all these parts of story.
In other news, it appears the future is not so far away. The military is going to be using robot bugs for recon.
British defence giant BAE Systems is creating a series of tiny electronic spiders, insects and snakes that could become the eyes and ears of soldiers on the battlefield, helping to save thousands of lives.
Prototypes could be on the front line by the end of the year, scuttling into potential danger areas such as booby-trapped buildings or enemy hideouts to relay images back to troops safely positioned nearby.
Soldiers will carry the robots into combat and use a small tracked vehicle to transport them closer to their targets.
Then they would swarm into the building and relay images back to the soldiers’ hand-held or wrist-mounted computers, warning them of any threats inside.
I’m all for saving lives and projecting power while we’re doing it. And robo spies are just cool. Except, of course, when they’re used against you…