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Dragon Skin body armor gains piezoelectric sensors, keeps bullet-stopping abilities

Vlad Savov

This Dragon Skin armor has been knocking about since 2007, but now that piezoelectrics and intelligence have been thrown into the mix we couldn't stop ourselves from taking a peek at it. The armor's strength is derived from a reptilian arrangement of overlapping ceramic and titanium composite discs, which simultaneously block incoming rounds and dissipate the impact to a wider area. What's interesting about the new design is the two piezoelectric sensors attached to each end -- one of them transfers a low voltage of power through the armor in the form of vibration, which the other picks up, and the reported energy loss is interpreted as armor degradation. Gnarlier still is the ability of these sensors to generate electricity from bullet impacts, which can then themselves give you an indication of what sort of bullet hit you. Capable of being applied to soldiers and vehicles alike, this could make the real act of soldiering a whole lot more like a video game (minus the whole "infinite respawn" thing), with HUDs showing you how much "shield" you have left. You can see an old(ish) video of the original armor after the break.

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