The US military’s attempts to duplicate action movie technology took another leap recently as the Guardian XO robotic exoskeleton was demonstrated at the recent Modern Day Marine expo. The suit is an obvious knockoff of the power loader exosuit featured in Aliens over 30 years ago, and reports suggest that marines will begin testing the XO as early as next year. Though sadly, the Area 51 xenomorphs will not be part of those tests.
Recently reported by Military.com, the Guardian XO is beinf developed for the Marine Corps by Sarcos Robotics. Bizarrely the article compares the suit to Transformers, when it’s much more like the exosuit in Aliens. Even the purpose of the suit – to help lift heavy artillery and other weighty loads – is much more akin to the power loader than anything in any Transformers film. It seems like this was just an excuse to mention the world’s premiere pro-military film franchise.
The Guardian XO is merely the latest example of military life imitating militarised art – a phenomenon perhaps most recognisable when it comes to Iron Man. According to an unofficial commentary recorded by Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. when the military saw the sequence of Tony Stark using his holographic projection software to design the Mk 1 Iron Man suit, Favreau got phonecalls asking him where he’d got the design from, because it so closely emulated the military’s own TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) project.
However, earlier this year the TALOS was scrapped earlier this year because they couldn’t get it to work properly. Similar technology has appeared in Edge of Tomorrow, The Expanse and of course Starship Troopers: Marauder but it appears it won’t be coming to a Middle Eastern ‘intervention’ near you any time soon.