A staple of sci-fi warfare
Power armor and exoskeletons are a staple in science fiction. They improve the abilities of futuristic soldiers on the battlefield. My colleague Lauren Goode finished the next season of her series Next Level by checking out the promising potential of exoskeletons in the workplace. She mentioned that although those devices have their roots designers are hoping they can be utilised to help workers at work or keep them or assist the disabled move around.
Given those military origins, however, it should not come as any surprise that science fiction writers, game programmers, or movie directors will utilize some sort of exoskeleton or suit of powered armor for a decisive conflict sequence — beginning with Robert Heinlein’s classic novel Starship Troopers all of the way around games such as Halo or films like Iron Man.
However, not every set of power armor is equivalent, and there are some which are better to come up against than others. Here,’s 18 examples, from what you would not wish to run into in a fight to what you really don’t want to encounter on the 31, rated.
Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader, Aliens
The Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader from James Cameron’s Aliens is an iconic piece of sci-fi hardware, and we’ll likely see something similar in the real world before too much more. It’s designed to allow heavy pieces of freight and gear to easily and quickly move .
However, while Ripley demonstrated it can be a formidable weapon in the right hands, it’s not really designed for combating. It’s a glorified fork lift, and it’s fairly slow and awkward. But it’ll do in a pinch.
Inside his 2013 movie Elysium, Neill Blomkamp populates his world with plenty of combat robots, but people have their own augments as well. When Matt Damon’s character Max tells a crime boss that he’s prepared to storm the film’s titular space station, he is outfitted with an exoskeleton that’s grafted to his legs and arms, while the film’s villain, Kruger has a more sophisticated version of his very own.
The Exo Suit in the film has its roots in real-world technology, and while these may have been designed for work, the movie’s characters use them to provide them an advantage in a fight. There are some drawbacks, however. These suits don’t provide much armor, providing an opponent lots of weak things to strike, and they’re drilled right onto a subject’s bones, which means that you can’t easily take off them.
Exo Suits, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Set in a near future where private military companies wage warfare on behalf of the governments of the world, 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare prominently features exoskeletons that enhance a player’s movements in the sport.
The game’s characters are outfitted with Exo Suits, a frame that permits them to jump incredible heights, punch through doors, and more, which gives them incredible power and freedom of movement on the battle. The suits help speed up the game, and permit for lots of add-ons to enter battle with.
Combat Jackets, Edge of Tomorrow
Doug Liman’s 2014 movie Edge of Tomorrow features humanity is fighting off an alien invasion, with all heavy duty exoskeletons called Combat Jackets to help soldiers on the floor run quicker and carry heavy weapons into conflict.
These battle jackets provide both extra strength, a few armor, and heavy weapons for the soldiers who wear them. But they’re just a little shy of being energy armor that is appropriate, and it feels like they could stand to find some mind protection.
LCS Exoskeleton, Linda Nagata’s The Red trilogy
Within Her military science fiction trilogy The Red (The Red: First Light, The Trials, and Moving Dark), Linda Nagata introduces viewers to some bunch of technical soldiers under the command of Lieutenant James Shelley: a linked combat squad. These soldiers venture into the field with an impressive kit: an exoskeleton that lets them take weapons and heavy loads . But in addition, it connects to neural laces connects them to one another, making the entire device and implanted in their heads a formidable adversary. They have the unbelievably creepy side effect of being able to walk their wearers back to base following a struggle in their own.
The suits aren’t fully armored, but they provide quite a lot of protection to their wearers, and also may be utilised in a variety of environments, from the African plains to high above the Arctic Circle.
Amplified Mobility Platform, Avatar
While James Cameron introduced the energy loader to audiences in Aliens, he featured their militaristic cousins into his 2009 movie Avatar. The Amplified Mobility Platform (also known as an AMP suit) is used by the RDA Corporation on Pandora for all from moving around freight to combat.
These huge suits are equipped with huge autocannon and a huge knife, which give its driver plenty of firepower. But while they are agile in the area, their size makes them a bit of an easy target: the NA’s of Pandora were able to take them down with a variety of tactics that are low-tech.
Delta-6 Accelerator lawsuit, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Set in the Not Too Distant Future, 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, shows a world that has come under threat by a mysterious group called M.A.R.S., headed by James McCullen (Christopher Eccelston). The G.I. Joe staff is called out to help deal with the danger, and across the way, are supplied with a couple of Accelerator suits.
These matches provide some armor to their wearers and provide them with a range of weapons, but have an emphasis on speed: Duke and Ripcord use them to zip around Paris. While they’re fast, they do not seem to have been made in massive numbers.
T-51b / T-60 power armor, Fallout
This collection of armor was the standard issue for soldiers in the United States Army’s Mechanized Cavalry Regiments before the Great War from the Fallout franchise. These suits take with them a fusion reactor for power, and may deflect laser blasts and rounds.
However, in Fallout’s post-apocalyptic world, these advanced suits were more difficult to come by or maintain, and they’re largely employed by the Brotherhood of Steel or the Enclave. They are also not invulnerable: they will degrade through a struggle that is heated.Though the energy armor in novels such as The Forever War and Starship Troopers are well known to science fiction fans, an underrated read is John Steakley’s 1984 book Armor. In it, a soldier called Felix deals with the stresses of interstellar warfare called a Scout Suit, composed of a material known as plassteel.
“Two meters tall, they believed six times the standard. Steel, bone, stone can crush. Armored legs could propel the fasted around 100 kilometers per hour that is regular. They were protected by the lawsuit as well, automatically and dispersing most concussions in an patter in the point of impact to the surface of the armor. ”
They’re also equipped with enough life support for three times, as well as a complement of guns and bombs. Felix comes to dread the power while these suits are nearly indestructible.
Crynet Nanosuit, Crysis
The Nanosuits utilized from the Crysis series equip soldiers on the battle with an enormous quantity of energy, as a result of the usage of artificial CryFibril muscle fibers. These suits give their wearers security, speed and strength, in addition to some features, such as camouflage. They can boost a wearer’s vision and permit them to survive underwater.
The big downside to these? They bond directly to their wearer, and they are almost impossible to remove without killing themand if they are in danger of falling into enemy hands, they could self-destruct.
Fighting Suit, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War
Among the best military science fiction books out there’s Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, which brought from his own adventures fighting during the Vietnam War. Within this publication, Haldeman’s soldiers have been equipped with what they call a Fighting Suit, which they describe as”the funniest private weapon ever constructed.”
These suits are strong: they can theoretically rip a steel beam in half, and provide armor and life support for a soldier to function in a variety of hostile environments. But trainees are cautioned: the lawsuits are dangerous not just to their own foes, however to themselves. Mistakes can be fatal, if they are not careful.
Goliath Mk Ⅲ Powersuit, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse
From The Expanse, Mars possesses the most advanced military force in the solar system, and its elite Marines are trained to function in deep space, onboard spaceships, and planetary surfaces. They come decked out in a strong suit of armor known as the Goliath Powersuit. This armor entirely protects its wearer, providing life care and armor, as well as a heads up screen to help soldiers. They also come equipped with guns mounted into their arms, and take a small rack of missiles in their backs.
These suits will withstand small arms fire and are small enough that they can be used inside the narrow corridors of a spaceship. But they’re not invincible, as Bobbie Draper’s Marines discovered during the second season of the television show on Ganymede.
Prawn Bio-Suit, District 9
When the alien Prawns came on Earth in Neil Blomkamp’s 2009 film District 9they bring with them a range of weapons and technology. 1 such piece of gear is that a Bio-Suit.
After he was infected by a Prawn fluid that begins to transform him, Wikus van de Merwe gets to one of those suits while he is on the run from a gang, and he uses it to kill his attackers. These suits can give a single soldier an edge in a firefight, but only Prawns (or people transforming into one) would be the only ones who can use them. They aren’t invincible, while they take an impressive range of deadly weapons. As Wikus battles with the lawsuit takes rockets, in addition to crippling damage from a sniper rifle and a truck.
Iron Man Mark III and Variants, Iron Man
Marvel kicked off its cinematic universe with 2008’s Iron Man, in which Tony Stark, the head of defense contractor Stark Industries, is captured in Afghanistan. He escapes his captors by building a crude armored suit, but after returning homehe refines the design and its own capabilities. We view him use a massive range of suits over the span of many films, which to function a number of purposes.
Stark’s Mark III armor is a potent piece of equipment. Powered by an arc reactor embedded in Stark’s chest and handled by an AI, it could fly, carry incredible weight, and attack enemies with rockets, guns, hand-mounted repulsers, and a chest column. The drawback? Stark is reluctant to give them out into the authorities, while he’s got an entire house full of the suits, and it’s safe to say that they will just work with him.
Trans-Developmental Biogenic Alloy, Karin Lowachee’s”Nomad”
In Karin Lowachee’s fantastic short story”Nomad” in John Joseph Adam’s 2012 anthology, Armored she introduces readers to an armored suit called Radical Two (nicknamed Mad). Mad is a part of a rogue band of soldiers, and when its individual, Tommy is murdered, it determines to move nomad — striking out on its own to pick an amateur child.
These matches are pretty powerful and emotionally join with their human operator. They want to fuse using a human, although these suits of armor are sentient in their own. They are loaded down with weapons such as guns and grenades, and are amazingly difficult to kill, with or without a human helping them.
MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, Halo
When humanity took to the stars in Bungie’s Halo franchise, the United Nations Space Command waged a constant war against a the Insurrectionists, also developed a super soldier program to fortify their forces. The program that was SPARTAN-II trained the soldiers who’d use the armor and enhanced, and they turned into a formidable force on the battlefield.
The Spartans are huge, covered in a tough armor which lets them absorb shots from enemy soldiers, along with an energy shield that offers an additional degree of protection. Their suits may host an AI to support its wearer, and may interface with all the weapons that they’re using, and despite their size, they’re incredibly nimble, and pose a formidable danger.
Mobile Infantry Powered Suits, Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers
it’s hard to beat the grandaddy of them all: the energy armor in the center of Robert Heinlein’s novel Starship Troopers. Every instance of power armor in popular culture comes from Heinlein’s usage.
Powered armor is one-half why we call ourselves”mobile infantry” instead of only”infantry.” Our suites give us better eyes, better ears, more powerful backs (to take heavier weapons and more ammo), better thighs, more intelligence, more firepower, greater endurance, less exposure.
These suits can operate on a variety of planetary surfaces and environments, and come armed not just with rifles and high explosives, but also tactical nuclear warheads that may remove an opponent in seconds. Let us hope that the reboot of the film will include this moment.
Space Marine Power Armor, Warhammer 40K
whenever it’s hard to conquer Heinlein’s mobile phone, the Space Marines of Warhammer 40K will do the trick. Struggling for the Imperium of Man, they have been modified, conditioned and trained to become the soldiers on the galaxy. They’re incredibly tough, and wear imposing armor comprising thick ceramic plates.
This suit of armor links to a wearer’s nervous system, and completely protects them out of their external environment, meaning they can function anywhere in the galaxy. It allows them to carry heavy and potent weapons to the area and enhances their perceptions. Just walk away if you see these on the battle.