Starship Troopers was Robert Heinlein’s novel about future soldiers. One feature of the book, besides a very right-wing political stance, was the suits worn by the soldiers in battle. Just as inventors made real the remote controlled hands in Heinlein’s novella Waldo, the military is looking to nanotechnology and MIT to make battle suits.
An article in Acumen puts it this way:
In the language of the U.S. military, [the soldier] has not been hardened. The infantry soldier is, as it were, a hairless, cowering ape, alone in the most lethal environment that human ingenuity has been able to conceive.
The military wants to turn the hairless ape into a mechasoldier – lethal and hard to kill. The new suits should have “exomuscles” to amplify solders’ strength, “kevlar on steroids” to make them bullet- and shrapnel-proof, biosensors galore, etc., etc. It sounds just like Starship Troopers, but sensitive and accurate waldoes seemed far-fetched when Heinlein first discribed them.
The truth is, no one knows whether such a suit can be made with current technology. The military is only looking for “proof of concept” within five years. Personally, I think they’ll get that proof. The technology is moving quickly, and sometimes all it takes is a monetary nudge to bring a crazy idea from theory to practice.