It’s children covered in cardboard boxes, hitting each other with broom sticks taken to the next level. Unified Weapons Master (UWM) is upping the ante on fight entertainment and betting people want to watch fighters shelled in advanced composite, sensor-laden materials battle each other with real weapons. They’re right, we do. UWM has developed the biometric battle armor that provide real-time feedback while fighters wail on each other. It’s all prototypes and entertainment-focused now, but you can also bet military and police are getting dreamy-eyed over these dual-purpose defense/combat-monitoring suits. Here is CEO David Pysden telling about the small team of engineers and designers that are building the combat platform of the future.
We were mostly curious what the suits were made of. Here’s the answer:
The prototype ‘Lorica’ suits are made of a combination of layered, modern, high performance materials. They also contain a range of advanced electronics including a variety of force measurement sensors, a competitor POV camera and a two-way microphone. We intend to also include a GPS (for team events) and biometric sensors (to monitor heart rate, body temperature and other factors).
The current combat prototypes weigh in just under 22kg, and while that weight is distributed over the entire body you still need to be tough, strong and fighting fit to compete in them. You can still feel and hear the shots landing and the adrenaline levels are very high.
The combat production versions of the suits will be made of even stronger, more lightweight materials and improved sensoring, and will feature better coverage and more articulation and mobility. There are well documented trade-offs between armour protection and mobility over the centuries and we are working hard to get this balance right, but need to include electronic sensoring (which the historic armourers never had to deal with!)
I’m partly excited with anticipation to see fighters beat their cyborg-like suit sensors into a frenzy, but partly wondering if watching two old ladies throw papier mâché confetti bombs at each other would be more intense. We will see, I suppose. The UWM.TV site is the place to keep track of what’s going on and even purchase a membership for the planned events they will stream. They’re still in the funding stage at the moment, but are planning on the first events to hit late 2014/early 2015. You can also catch the latest updates and get involved with the development on the UWM Facebook page.