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World Taiwan Unveils Exoskeleton Suit That Makes Soldiers Stronger on Battlefield

17:55  27 october  2021
17:55  27 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

What to know about the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan

  What to know about the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan There has been increasing "gray-zone" conflict across the strait. Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng even warned the Taiwanese legislature earlier this month that Beijing might be able to launch a "full-scale" invasion of the island by 2025.

Taiwan's military has unveiled a powered exoskeleton suit that soldiers could one day use in wartime or during humanitarian missions.

A stock photo shows a line of soldiers' boots at a parade. Taiwan's recently-revealed exoskeleton attaches to the lower body. © vasile voicu/Getty A stock photo shows a line of soldiers' boots at a parade. Taiwan's recently-revealed exoskeleton attaches to the lower body.

The term exoskeleton refers to an external skeleton that supports or protects the body from the outside, rather than an internal skeleton like humans have.

Research into powered exoskeletons has been ongoing for decades since they could potentially help people lift heavy objects or move over rough terrain. Their uses have been studied in the context of military, civilian and healthcare applications.

Taiwan Vows to 'Defend Itself' Amid U.S. Reversal, Here's How Much Stronger China Is

  Taiwan Vows to 'Defend Itself' Amid U.S. Reversal, Here's How Much Stronger China Is "The complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and it will definitely be fulfilled," Ma Xiaoguang of China's Taiwan Affairs Council said.President Joe Biden stirred controversy during a Thursday evening town hall when he twice appeared to confirm that he had a commitment to protect Taiwan in the event of an attack, one that would presumably come from China, where President Xi Jinping has vowed to take reintegrate the rival government by diplomacy, or force, if necessary.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense held a press conference in which an exoskeleton, powered by a lithium battery, was demonstrated by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCIST), according to Taiwan News.

The suit works by increasing the efficiency of the human body and reducing the loads that are placed upon soldiers' lower limb joints by supporting the knees. It attaches to the legs.

Ministry of National Defense photos show a soldier with the suit attached to them. It appears to wrap around the shins and thighs, while wires also extend up to a belt around the waist.

The soldier is pictured carrying out various tasks such as squatting while holding weights and jogging on the spot.

Currently the powered exoskeleton provides 40 Newton-meters of torque, allows wearers to move at speeds of up to 3.7 miles per hour, and weighs under 10 kilograms (22 pounds), Taiwan News reported. Its battery is said to last for up to six hours, according to the Taipei Times.

Biden's vow of Taiwan 'commitment' the latest mixed signal on Chinese aggression

  Biden's vow of Taiwan 'commitment' the latest mixed signal on Chinese aggression President Joe Biden's declaration Thursday that the United States has a "commitment" to defend Taiwan against China continued his administration's trend of sending mixed messages in the face of Beijing's aggression.Biden's vow in a CNN town hall was the second time in recent months that he has said the U.S. would respond militarily if China attacked the democratic island nation. Each time, the White House has subsequently insisted America’s decadeslong policy of “strategic ambiguity” had not actually changed.

However, a future version will increase torque delivery to 50 Newton-meters and reportedly allow wearers to lift objects between 40 and 100 kilograms (88 and 220 pounds) in weight. It would also be heavier, weighing under 53 pounds.

It's thought that the suit could help soldiers to carry ammunition, rescue soldiers or complete other tiring tasks.

The suit was presented by NCIST project manager Jen Kuo-kuang, who is quoted as saying that tests of the exoskeleton were run on 105 soldiers to make sure it generally fits Taiwanese troops. It is unclear when the suit might be put to use in the field.

Taiwan is not the first country to showcase exoskeleton technology. Earlier in 2021, China revealed a powered exoskeleton to help soldiers carry ammunition and could provide 20 kilograms of strength assistance, according to China's Global Times state media outlet which cited China Central Television.

US Isn’t Alone in Support of Taiwan

  US Isn’t Alone in Support of Taiwan There has been an extraordinary amount of talk in policy circles recently about Taiwan and the U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s security—and for good reason. © Provided by Washington Examiner A soldier holds a Taiwan national flag during a military exercise in Hsinchu County, northern Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Taiwanese troops using tanks, mortars and small arms staged a drill Tuesday aimed at repelling an attack from China, which has increased its threats to reclaim the island and its own displays of military might.

In the U.S., defense firm Lockheed Martin's Onyx lower-body powered exoskeleton was revealed years ago.

Taiwan is currently embroiled in tensions with China driven by Beijing's assertion that Taiwan is actually a breakaway Chinese province. Taiwan, however, is independently governed and resists this assertion.

In recent months the conflict has taken the shape of sharp words and an increase in airspace provocations by China.

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Taiwan's president confirms the US military is training troops on the island as the threat from China grows .
It's the first time in decades that a Taiwanese president confirmed a US military presence on the island. Tensions between Taiwan and China have been on the rise. Taiwan's president told CNN this week that the threat to the island posed by China is growing every day and confirmed the US has a limited military presence on the island for training purposes. Cross-strait ties between China and Taiwan are at the lowest point in decades as Beijing puts increased pressure on the island.

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