Using the “aim assist” or “snap to target” function in Call of Duty is cheating. Everyone knows that. No one has that ability on a real battlefield, and no one should have that ability on a virtual battlefield, either.
Turns out, that logic might not apply anymore.
The U.S. Army’s Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) program recently tested the AimLock Stabilized Weapon Platform for the first time during a live fire exercise. The AimLock functions pretty much as it sounds: it corrects for “shooter’s wobble” to assist in target acquisition and target engagement.
The technology was developed by Rocky Mountain Scientific Laboratory (RMSL), based in Littleton, Colorado, and the system’s detailed schematics can be accessed via the company’s patent.
Here’s how it works:
An electromechanical system translates an “aiming error” signal from a target tracking system into dynamic “pointing corrections” for handheld devices to drastically reduce pointing errors due to man-machine wobble without specific direction by the user. The active stabilization targeting correction system works by separating the “support” features of the handheld device from the “projectile launching” features, and controlling their respective motion by electromechanical mechanisms.
Essentially, the system holds the rifle so the shooter doesn’t have to. A computing system works with a camera mounted on the front of the firearm to move the rifle’s point of aim in real time as the shooter engages with the target. This creates a “snap to target” capability that could dramatically increase an individual rifleman’s effectiveness. The shooter controls the trigger and the direction of the rifle, but that’s about it.
Ultimately, the Army hopes the new technology can drastically increase the probability of a hit and reduce target acquisition time, two key factors in the success or failure of engagements with enemy combatants.
The system can also reduce training time for skilled and unskilled shooters, and allow shooters in the standing position to be just as accurate as shooters in the prone position.
AimLock is not classified, but the Army has yet to publish the results of its live-fire exercises. The final version of the product, which should take the form of a standalone rifle without the bulky carriage, is set to be delivered next summer.
AimLock is one of fifty technologies currently under development by the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). The system is also part of the U.S. Army’s larger Force 2025 initiative, which is looking to develop better technology for future conflicts.