Hello all, I recently filed a patent for a combined vehicle propulsion & protection system, UK Patent Application number 1000110.5. The idea is to set up a grid of electromagnets under the hull of a vehicle or structure. On the outside, a magnetically responsive pseudo-fluid (MPF) is moved around by phased activation of these electromagnets. Propulsion is achieved through wave-like motion of the MPF against the ground, or wetted area of a naval vehicle. Examples of MPF are hollow steel spheres, steel spheres with ceramic/foam/shear thickening/ elastomeric/explosive reactive/etc. cores. The MPF is designed to move around as a particulate aggregate under the influence of magnetic fields. Some benefits of this system are: 1) Armour can be transferred co-operatively between vehicles in a formation (e.g. to lead/rear elements in accordance to perceived risk) 2) Armour can be quickly replenished in the field, e.g. by air drop 3) The armour can repair itself in the field (just reform any holes or replace lost MPF) 4) Any attempts to disperse the MPF held within a magnetic field will encounter eddy current braking proportional to the rate of change, c.f. Lenz' Law. 5) Armour coverage for a vehicle can be varied depending on anticipated threats (e.g. thicker underbelly armour when traversing a suspected minefield) or dynamically (perhaps in conjunction with an active defence system, like the Israeli Trophy) 6) It is inherently amphibious. A land vehicle equipped with such a propulsion/protection system would be able to move through bodies of water, and vice versa. 7) The composition of the MPF can be varied depending on threats. E.g. if more blast threats are anticipated, blast attenuating hollow and foam filled spheres can be used. If more KE threats are anticipated, ceramic-filled spheres can be used. For naval propulsion, the system is expected to have a high Froude efficiency due to moving a large volume of water slowly, rather than a small volume of water quickly (c.f. a propeller). 9) The system will have no characteristic acoustic signature as the sound it makes (which can be mitigated using MPF coated with a damping layer) depends on the activation sequence of the electromagnets, which itself is highly variable. 10) The system has no single point of failure (e.g. tyres, axle, gearbox) hence it is highly damage tolerant. 11) Such a vehicle can traverse difficult terrain easily due to its variable ground contact pressure, torque and contact surface shape (it can conform and mechanically key to uneven terrain) My company has just received a Combined Search & Examination report from the UK Intellectual Property Office, dated 11/5/10 and examined by Mr. Rowland Hunt. Apart from some minor amendments to the claims, the closest inventions he identified in the field are US Patents 5359574, 5273465 and 6622608. The first two of these patents are in the propulsive/stealth fields and offer no protective advantages to thusly equipped vehicles. The last is for actuated, variable standoff armour which is only remotely similar to mine. What do you think of this patent? I'm interested in any comments, from a technical or military point of view. An example of a commercial application for this are conveyor belts with no moving parts. Development of a prototype demonstrator vehicle is somewhat beyond my personal budget but as always I am looking for ways (partners, funding, expertise) to develop this.