Technology and robotics are advancing at a phenomenal rate and machines are helping humans expand their abilities in more ways than you can imagine. Our lives are already augmented by technology to such an extent that it would be difficult to live without it.
Now, the US Army is also thinking about merging man with machines to create super soldiers with enhanced mental and physical abilities and believes it could be possible by 2050. A study conducted by the Department of Defence predicted that future armies could include half-human half-robot troops with superhuman capabilities including infrared sight, ultrasonic hearing, super strength, and mind-control.
Technologically enhanced super soldiers
The year-long study, titled, "Cyborg Soldier 2050: Human/Machine Fusion and the Implications for the Future of the DOD," was conducted by the US Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command and details what soldiers of the future might look like. The study identifies four main areas of the human body which can feasibly be technologically modified to create super soldiers. These four areas are as follows:
Eye implants for infrared and ultraviolet vision
At present, soldiers have no option but to depend on their regular sight during the day and once the sun sets they have to rely on bulky night-vision goggles or additional equipment for thermal imaging.
The report suggests the possibility of eye implants that give soldiers infrared and ultraviolet vision, as well as improve regular eyesight and allow them to see everything in much better detail than the naked eye. The implants will also offer small teams the ability to acquire and share data in real-time.
Muscle restoration and muscle control bodysuit
Soldiers are also human so when they stretch themselves to the limit physically, their muscles tend to become sore and need rest in order to recover. Unfortunately, due to active duty rest is not a luxury soldier can afford. Therefore, the report proposes a muscle restoration bodysuit that allows for sore muscles to rejuvenate quickly and prepare the soldier for combat in less time.
Moreover, the bodysuit, which will use a network of sensors planted under the soldier's skin cells, will also improve physical strength, performance and allow the soldier's movements to be controlled remotely.
Ear implants to improve hearing and communication
Soldiers' hearing abilities are crucial when it comes to their survival on the battlefield so the study suggests ear enhancements that not only provide better hearing but also allow troops to hear infrasonic and ultrasonic sounds.
Additionally, the technology will use sound waves to give soldiers a sense of their surroundings and improve communication by automatically receiving or transmitting data without speech using brain signals.
Mind control tech using Brain enhancements
The final major change would be an implant in the brain that would allow the soldier to control technology with their mind. This would come in the form of direct neural enhancements that would allow information to be exchanged between the human brain and technology as well as between two human minds telepathically.
"These interactions would allow warfighters direct communication with unmanned and autonomous systems, as well as with other humans, to optimise command and control systems and operations," the report states.
These four technological advancements will make up the cyborg warfighters of the future by 2050, as the US Army predicts. That said, this equipment won't come cheap so it remains to be known whether this kind of tech is actually financially viable for the armed forces in the future.