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April 12, 2011

Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman working to develop lighter armor for U.S. military vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan

Jamie Hyneman is on the right, beside costar Adam Savage.

Register UK - Jamie Hyneman has been working with the US government to devise lightweight armor for US military vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq, all thanks to his work with materials such as TNT and C4 in the frankly unconventional setting of MythBusters.

Hyneman's armor had to be ultra-lightweight so the vehicle doesn't get bogged down, but also capable of standing up the shrapnel and blast damage from a powerful IED while protecting the humans inside the vehicle from the pressure wave accompanying a blast.

Hyneman was contacted by a military subcontractor working with the Office of Naval Research to participate in the armor project. He works out of his business, M5 Industries - the San Francisco studio that's featured in most episodes of MythBusters, and that's a hobbyist's dream of workbenches, power tools, and sheet metal.



This is not Hyneman's first work with the military, however. He also devised a "fully realistic human" robotic avatar to give newbie army medics something realistic to work on, and to help prevent them from freezing up when they see gore in the field for the first time. The MythBuster reckons his avatar is as close to human as it gets: it smells bad, has "real hair", groans, and spurts blood until you successfully apply a tourniquet. The machine is being manufactured "by the dozen" and used for training in the Middle East, he says.
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