Go Off Road With Tank Treads Mounted On Roller Blades

Remember when you were young and you just had to have rollerblades, the speedy feeling as you put one foot in front of another rushing down the road. These days you are more likely to have a segway or hoverboard carry you down the road or even through the woods, but someone isn’t happy to give up on the rollerblades yet, having instead the great idea to make them off-road with tank treads mounted on the classic.

The EV4’s consist of two rollerblades features a 350W DC motor, giving you the ability to travel as far as 12 miles at up to 9MPH. Afraid of going near grass? Don’t worry, the tank treads mean you can easily cover gravel, grass and dirt. Don’t worry about having to control the movement either, it’s all done via a wireless hand-held remote, giving you complete control over the system.

Sadly if you are looking at something to quickly carry you to and from work or down the neighbouring paths, there may be cheaper and lighter alternatives. Coming at 11 pounds per pair and with a $1,400 price tag means it’s not something you can easily pick up and forget a year down the line.

New Russian Armoured Vehicle Operated Via PlayStation Controller

A new Russian armoured vehicle has been developed that uses an interface based on the famous PlayStation controller. Albert Bakov, Vice President of tank maker Tractor Plants, told Russian media that the Kurganets-25 mechanised infantry vehicle utilises a “console similar to a Sony Playstation gamepad.”

Bakov said, “I spent two years on convincing the designers to make the console similar to a Sony Playstation gamepad, to make it easier for a young soldier to familiarise himself with it.”

Though it is unclear as to whether Tractor Plants used the traditional Dual Shock model – a shape that has been with us since the original PlayStation, up to the PS 3’s Dual Shock 3 – or the new Dual Shock 4 redesign compatible with the PlayStation 4, Bakov says that the compact design, as well as being familiar to young soldiers, economises space within the driver’s seat.

“As it turns out, a steering wheel is dangerous for the rib cage during an impact and when climbing out. It takes up more space but provides nothing,” Bakov added.

Currently undergoing trials with the Russian army, the Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicle (Object 695) is expected to go into mass production at the start of 2016.

Thank you Sputnik News for providing us with this information.

DARPA’s Idea to Replace Batteries with Propane Seems Mad and Genius at the Same Time

Soldiers are becoming more and more reliant on technology and the old-fashioned lithium-ion batteries won’t really do the trick. The US military currently uses the Ultralife UBI-2590 battery pictured below, which weighs in at 1.4kg a piece. However, their capacity is extremely limited and solders need a lot of them to get the job done in the field.

To overcome this issue, DARPA’s Transformative Apps program and their team of engineers from Ultra Electronics have built a lightweight, 350-watt propane generator that is capable of charging its batteries in the field, with the added bonus that it is completely silent.

The idea might not seem such a game changer, but the picture below comparing the old Ultralife UBI-25290 and DARPA’s propane alternative seems to make sense. The screenshots describe that the propane solution is equivalent to 100 Ultralife batteries, which in turn help soldiers reduce the weight load. One Ultralife UBI-2590 battery weighs in at 1.4 kg, while the generator weighs only 5 kg and the tank just 9 kg. There even seem to be smaller 1.8 kg tank alternatives, should the 9 kg propane tank be too much.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

US Government Hire Call of Duty Creator As a War Advisor

America has been looking for the ‘military advantage’ over the last decade or so, ever since the terror threat was brought to their shores though the disastrous 9/11 attacks.

The Atlantic Council think tank has decided to think outside of the box, hiring Dave Anthony – the creator of the famous Call of Duty franchise. Anthony is said to be playing a part of ‘The Art of Future War Project’ run by the aforementioned think tank in an effort to work on the way that the US military conduct their campaigns. Launching next week, this project will see famous authors, screenwriters and entertainment personalities all banding together to share their knowledge and expertise.

Originally announced by former Pentagon official Steven Grundman, the idea was introduced by him witnessing his son play Call of Duty: Black Ops II, claiming that “he was struck how realistic our portrayal in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ was of a future conflict.” Grundman, in an interview with the Washington post commented “It occurred to me that the perspective of artists on this question is compelling and insightful, and it’s also different. One feature that struck me was the combination of both familiar technologies and novel ones” continuing to say “I didn’t want to satisfy myself with an approach everyone was doing. It’s a crowded field of ideas”.

A direct statement from the Atlantic Council think tank reads:

“Writers, directors and producers and other artists bring to bear observations derived from wholly different experiences in the creative world. They can ask different kinds of questions that will challenge assumptions and status quo ways of tackling some of today’s toughest national security problems”.

So what will these stars, screen genius’ and game developers actually be working on? That’s classified. But the main question being asked by the public after this release echoes “Is it worth it?”. Many users of online social media outlets have become seemingly outraged since the release of this information, claiming a waste of their tax dollars and the governments time. But as with every negative, there’s also a positive side of views where some are keen to see what this new collection of talent can produce.

Could this be the beginning of game-style technology coming to life? We hope so.

Image courtesy of Gameplanet

Information thanks to RT and Tweaktown

DARPA Reveal New Ground X-Vehicle Technology for Tanks

DARPA have been working hard to design new tanks that use significantly less armour in a bid to make them incredibly agile, while still making them safe for their occupants. No easy task given that tanks typically have a lot of heavy armour for a damn good reason.

The new vehicle design has more in common with a dune buggy crossed with Batmans Tumbler than a typically slow and heavy tank, but it uses an array of sensors to allow it to detect incoming ballistics and move its armour shielding to the correct position to deflect the blast. This means it can operate with less armour more effectively.

Not only that, but the low weight means it has a greater chance of physically dodging incoming attacks as it can literally duck down by folding into the ground, make rapid changes to its speed, or swerve out of the way.

DARPA say they’re working on the design of these vehicles for the next 24 months, but you can see how far the design has come in the concept video below.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/L2NXSgD_INY[/youtube]

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Norweigan Army Testing Oculus Rift VR Tech Inside Tanks

A new prototype navigation system is being trialed by the Norwegian army, allowing their soldiers a new way to drive their tanks, and it uses Oculus Rift. The new system uses special cameras mounted on the exterior of the tank, which are then fed into the Oculus Rift headset via some software, to provide the driver with 360-degree of viewing space from within the safety of the tank.

The new system is nothing more than a prototype, as the picture quality provided by the headset and the cameras is not good enough for operational use. They’ve been testing with Oculus since 2013, which I’m guessing was the DK1 dev kit hardware, but in April they also tried out the newer DK2 hardware.

“It is a partial success,” project leader Maj Ola Petter Odden told the BBC. “The concept is sound, but the technology isn’t quite there yet. The picture quality is good for 10-15m [30-50ft] – but after that it is difficult to distinguish details, for example whether an opponent is carrying a weapon.”

Oculus Rift has so far proven a much cheaper solution compared to conventional military camera systems. The hardware used is still under development, but they’re preparing their systems and soldiers for when a higher quality headset and camera system are available.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of BBC.