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Coming soon: Martial artists competing at full force in high-tech armor

By dkpope
Sep 3, 2015
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  1. If you’ve ever wondered where to get body armor for full contact martial arts combat, wonder no more.

    An Australian company is on a mission to create a new combat sport pairing masters from different disciplines against each other, and they’ve built high tech armor for the occasion.

    The armor from Unified Weapon Master (UWM) has layers of shock-absorbing materials, biometric sensors, a cooling system, and a helmet camera. That last feature is less about safety, and more about giving the audience a breathtaking view of the fight. Justin Forsell, one of the founders, says their vision is to facilitate “real fighting, real weapons, full force, very few rules, high levels of safety and with science judging the outcome.”

    Forsell, along with fellow founders David Pysden and Samantha English, came up with the Lorica armor as their solution. And since they all have backgrounds in martial arts, they are highly motivated by the fighter’s safety.

    How can a person be kept safe while fighting at full force? The armor provides real-time analytics during the fight about what type and level of damage the fighters are experiencing. The analytics are designed to show the stats as if it’s a HUD in a video game with a health bar that shows the force of each blow and how many lives the fighters has left.

    All of this information will be streamed to the audience watching the fights online, alongside the live stream from the camera on the fighter’s helmet. To get any closer, audience members would have to actually suit up.

    The Lorica project is on Indiegogo with the goal of raising $100,000 AUD (around $72,000 USD) and as the crowdfunding gig goes, they’re offering a ton of perks. Some of the benefits include Google Hangouts, tickets, weapons the supporter could use in the UWM arena, and at the high end of the offers, a custom suit of Lorica armor for a pledge of $1,000,000 AUD. They’ve reached 42% -- that’s almost $30,000 USD -- funded with 31 days left.

    The next question is, how does a TechSpot writer get her hands on this armor for a review?

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    If it turns into something good, then military will get their hands on it. After all, light armour is needed in many areas.
     
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +528

    Looking at the armor, I do not think that it is pierce resistant. It also looks like they are using the same padding, under the plate, that is used for movie stunts (which is really good stuff.)
     
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,562   +2,368

    The mechanical design is where this armor is important. Specifically, how articulate the overall suit is and how easy it is to get in and out of, service, etc. Being resistant to different types of damage is merely a matter of switching materials.

    Switching out the shock plates with a ceramic and switching the fabric to a kevlar variant would turn this tech into some type of Halo combat suit. Very cool stuff.
     
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +528

    The biggest issue still is weight. Since these guys are fighting in an arena and not marching across a country. Thus, it would only useful in specific combat situations. Either way, I would love to have a couple of these suits.
     
  6. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 298   +78

    Everyone has missed the main usage of the suit. To wear it while answering the door to your daughters first boyfriend - priceless.
     
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +528

    That would first require me to have a daughter.
     
  8. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 298   +78

    Minor technicality.
     
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,562   +2,368


    To which the only response is, "Nice suit. But it's on the wrong person."
     
    cartera likes this.
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Or, "Nice suit. I have one just like it at home."
     
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,562   +2,368

    Or, if the daughter is wearing it, "Nice suit. Is that the new one, or the one with the faulty pelvic plate?"
     
  12. mcborge

    mcborge TS Maniac Posts: 211   +121

    Ideal for black friday... Also were's the N7 logo.
     
  13. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    I think I saw this in the live action TMNT movies from the 90's. :p
     

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