FT. LEONARD WOOD, Mo.–The army is testing new technologies at Ft. Leonard Wood in an effort to better protect its soldiers with equipment that will possibly be used in combat situations.
The technologies will allow the soldier to do his or her job safer and more efficiently because of tech’s speed and capabilities.
Drones, 3D printers, and laser scanners are all new technologies army soldiers are putting to the test.
The 3D concrete printers are used to build seven-foot barriers to protect against enemy attacks. On Wednesday, soldiers tested how long they would take to build in the field. W-1 Darius Cooper says four hours.
“It’s big because time and money costs, of course, are big factors in how we do things so this could have the potential to speed those up, which is also what is very alluring about this project. We get a chance to build these structures in record time whereas with soldiers it could take even days or weeks or longer to get all this built on ground,” says Cooper.
The army also demonstrated drones. These autonomous flying technologies have the ability to detect chemical hazards in the air, which could protect soldiers like Spc. Michael Magallanes
“Usually if we didn’t have the drones, we’d be using this striker here to go and detect if we have radiological or chemical agents so this drone is there to mitigate that problem so instead of having one of us risk our lives out there, we have the drone,” says Magallanes.
As for the 3D focus laser scanner, it works in capturing fast and accurate measurements of crime scenes.
“This equipment scans everything, it measures everything, it takes the human error out of the process of the crime scene and it puts it into a digital environment so we don’t have to recreate this crime scene anymore,” says Dennis Sweet of FARO.
It can also be used for planning military operations.
“You can take the FARO, put it on a drone, put it on a UAV, put it on a vehicle scan that area and it’ll give us a 3D representation of that area, which would be invaluable in the planning process so instead of looking at a map or photographs, you can go inside that environment in virtual reality,” says Ssg. Christopher Schultz.
All the technologies are just being tested for now until it’s determined how the army can best apply them.