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Combat Exoskeleton (TL9, TL10)

Editor’s Note: This was originally submitted as two separate articles, one on the TL9 version of the product, and one on the TL10 version. Upon close inspection, we found it reasonable to combine the two, and have done so. The combined article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Freelance Traveller.


CraftID: Combat Exoskeleton, TL9, Cr 155,687
   Hull: 1/1, Disp=0.25, Conf=CUSL, Armour=20D
         Loaded=1.28088 tons, Unloaded=1.274163 tons
  Power: 1/2, Battery=0.0542 Mw, Duration=13.25 hours
   Loco: 1/2, Legs x2, P/W=29.13
         Road=73 kph, Off Road=58.4 kph
   Comm: Radio=V Dist (50km) x2, Interface=Brain, Power, 
Sensors: AW Radar=Dist (5km), Radio Direction Finder,
         Advance Image Enhance, Advance Active IR,
         Passive IR, Passive Audio, Active Audio=Dist (5km),
         Environmental, Magnetic, Radiation, Video Recorder, 
         Touch x2
    Off: Hardpoints=1
    Def: +2, +8 under Robot control
Control: NHR Low Function 10 Robot Brain
         Software=Forward Observer-1
         Head Up Display, Environ=Basic Env, Basic Ls,
  Accom: Crew=1 (Operator), Seats=None x1
  Other: Light Robot Arm x2, Cargo=0.006717 kl,
         ObjSize=Small, EmLevel=Faint
Comment: Cost in Quantity=Cr 124,550
         Adds +10 to the Operator’s STR
         Can lift 1.787 under Robot control
CraftID: Combat Exoskeleton II, TL10, Cr 182,020
   Hull: 1/1, Disp=0.25, Conf=CUSL, Armour=25E
         Loaded=2.046635 tons, Unloaded=2.042651 tons
  Power: 1/2, Battery=0.07841 Mw, Duration=14.25 hours
   Loco: 1/2, Legs x2, P/W=38.1168
         Road=82 kph, Off Road=65.6 kph
   Comm: Radio=V Dist (50 km) x3, Interface=Brain, Power,
Sensors: Active EMS=Dist (5 km), Passive EMS=V Dist (50 km),
         Passive Audio, Environmental, Touch x2
    Off: Hardpoints=1
         Laser Designator
         Weapon Stabilised=120 kph
  Ammo Pen/
Dmg Max
9mm SMG-5 275 3/1 3 Long 3 0 M 600
Blade 2 - 3 2 Close - - - -
    Def: +2, +8 under Robot control
Control: NHR Low Function 100 Robot Brain
         Software=Forward Observer-1, Recon-1
         Head Up Display, Environ=Basic Env, Basic Ls,
  Accom: Crew=1 (Operator), Seats=None x1
  Other: Light Robot Arm x2, Cargo=0.003984 kl,
         ObjSize=Small, EmLevel=Faint
Comment: Cost in Quantity=Cr 145,616
         Adds +10 to the Operator’s STR
         Can lift 1.787 under Robot control

Daud Enterprises presented the Home County Military with the Combat Exoskeleton, and later the Combat Exoskeleton II. Nicknamed “Battle Dress” the operator climbs into the exoskeleton with their arms in the robot arms and their legs in the robot legs. The contoured exoskeleton then encloses around them with the helmet providing a completely seal against the environment.

The array of sensory information (including both active and passive integrated EMS arrays in the C.E.II) is presented to the operator via the helmet’s head up display allowing him staggering amount of tactical battlefield information. The exoskeleton’s legs provide the operator with unlimited endurance and speeds of up to 58.4 kph (65.6 in the C.E.II) over the battle field, while its arms enhance the strength of the operator considerably while the operator is in control. The touch sensors on each arm ensure that the sensation of holding or lifting is passed through to the operator in order to allow use of normal weaponry, tools and equipment.

In the C.E.II, the exoskeleton is armed with a blade at the end of each arm for hand-to-hand combat, and a SMG with 275 rounds of ammo in either the left or right arm depending on the preference of the operator. The SMG is notionally a back-up weapon with an ammo counter shown on the HUD. The Laser Designator aids laser guided ordinance, and can be targeted from control via the robot brain.

The complex systems of the exoskeleton are controlled using a relatively simple robot brain (Daud Enterprises’ installed brain is functionally equivalent to the NHR Low Function 10 Robot Brain, or the NHR Low Function 100 Robot Brain in the C.E.II) that is subordinate to the operator. Originally, the brain had no skills; however, the additional of more CPU and the abilities of a forward observer (and recon scout in the C.E.II) allow tactical battle field information to be relayed via one of the radios back to command and artillery targeted on threats that the operator can designate by voice command alone. In the C.E.II, one or both radios can be used, and the data can be simultaneously presented to the operator on the HUD. Tactical battlefield information from multiple exoskeletons can be combined at command to allow for triangulations and audio fixes of unseen opposition such as snipers, and fire missions can be called in by command to deal with these threats without the need for operator involvement. Additionally, in the C.E.II, the program interface allows command to re-task the robot brain with a skill set of Forward Observer-2 or Recon-2 to be able to provide more detailed tactical battlefield information. In medical mode (see below) it has also been known to re-task the robot with Stealth-2 in order to help the casualty arrive at the med centre without additional wounds.

In the event of injury or unconsciousness of the operator the Robot brain can take control of the exoskeleton and walk the operator back to the nearest medical assistance while reporting on the occupant’s vital signs and still relay tactical battlefield information as necessary. In control of the exoskeleton the Robot is able to lift considerably more than the operator could; however as the needed positioning for this to be achieved put the operators arms and legs in highly uncomfortable if not painful positions this function is not in use. The Robot brain is also able to predict and evade attacks on the exoskeleton far better than the operator; again in order to do this the Robot has to move the exoskeleton into positions that would be painful if not deadly for the operator so this function has also been disabled.

Combat duration is acceptable at 13.25 hours (14.25 for the C.E.II); however the need to recharge the unit causes the Home County Military to have to adapt combat tactics to take this into account.