SApparently the military has been working with West Florida's Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) for several years trying to develop an underwater exoskeleton that would improve a soldier's speed and endurance underwater. Much like early pioneers of flight, IHMC has looked to nature to provide answers. So far, the project known as Performance Improving Self Contained Exoskeleton for Swimming ("PISCES") has investigated how dolphins, sea turtles and penguins move through the water. Not surprisingly, the results have been...a little odd. The images above illustrate two design concepts: the first is focused on amplifying a swimmer's lower body movements in the water—like a motorized version of swim fins. The second concept goes a little further by attempting to mimic how a penguin uses its upper body to swim. Apparently the project is still in development, and since the image illustrates that the motorized lower body fin has actually been tested, I am going to assume that is the direction they have decided to pursue. That's probably for the best. [IHMC via Wired]
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