Modern technology means 'increased lethality' and scarier weapons - but it can also keep soldiers out of harm's way, patch them up when they're hurt and one day, even erase traumatic memories.

These fourteen technologies may sound like the stuff of sci-fi, but they're rapidly becoming reality.

1. Exoskeletons
Wouldn't it be great if you could give ordinary soldiers robot strength and stamina? Exoskeletons do just that, and as this video shows, they're not very far away. They're also capable of working without a person inside them. Everybody panic!

2. Smart uniforms
We can't make soldiers invisible just yet, but smart fabrics can make them much harder to see - and almost invisible to night vision goggles, heat sensors and radar kit.

3. Liquid armour
Armour is handy, but it's heavy and inflexible - so scientists have developed liquid armour, which is designed to offer the best of both worlds. There are two kinds of liquid armour: Shear Thickening Fluid (STF), which hardens on impact, and Magnetorheological (MR) fluid, which is essentially iron particles suspended in liquid. Add a magnetic field and MR fluid becomes solid in fractions of a second. Of the two, STF liquid armour is the current favourite: MR fluid armour is still a good few years away.

4. Bendy guns
One potentially fatal problem with the good old-fashioned gun is that you need to see what you're shooting at - so when you pop your head round a corner, the enemy might just pop it off your shoulders. Enter Cornershot, an Israeli system designed for SWAT teams and special forces. It's a simple enough idea: a gun that can be bent at right angles, with a sight that follows the barrel so the operator can see what he or she is shooting at.

5. Sonic bandages
One of the biggest preventable causes of battlefield deaths is from blood loss, so the Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation (DBAC) programme is working on 'sonic bandages' that cauterise wounds with a focused blast of ultrasonic energy.

6. Electronic guns
Metal Storm combines electronic ignition and stacked projectiles to devastating effect - or "increased lethality", as the brochure puts it. Its light weight means that Metal Storm guns tend to have lots and lots of barrels firing simultaneously. It makes a machine gun look like a pea shooter.

7. Rail guns
Rail guns use magnetic fields to blast projectiles at incredible speeds: the US Navy has tested one that fires its load at seven times the speed of sound.

8. Robot bombers
Earlier this week, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fired three Hellfire missiles at a house on the Afghan border, killing fugitive Rashid Rauf. That's just a taste of what's on the horizon, because today's UAVs are titchy compared to projects such as Taranis, which includes building full-size, unmanned fighter jets.

9. Brain erasers
For many soldiers, the trauma of war doesn't end when the fighting does - and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make their civilian lives a misery. A Men In Black-style brain eraser would be a big help, so it's no surprise that the military is funding research into whether such devices are possible. Scientist have already found a way to erase mice's memories, so such tech could well be possible.