Remember when US president Barack Obama joked about building Iron Man? Well, he wasn't exactly kidding as the military is building a suit right now (it's called Talos, by the way) and it has no qualms letting the world know it. The Wall Street Journal revealed more details about the suit, which funnily enough is going to partly be built by those who helped make the movie versions.
What you can expect the suit to have: weaponry, bullet protection, vital signs monitoring and enhanced strength and perception for the suit's wearer. What not to expect:the red and gold. You really don't want the suit to scream "Hey I'm right here, point that missile at me now."
So besides names like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics, the Iron Man special effects maker Legacy Effect is also in on the action. Specifically, the latter will be helping out with the design as well as 3D print prototypes. Legacy is assisting Ekso Bionics, an exoskeleton creator. Talk about right out of the comic books and into real-life.
A suit that will make you hard to kill
Now in the pursuit of a perfecct exoskeleton for the suit, the companies are getting veyr creative. Their research includes the study of sumo wrestlers to see how they can move so agilely despite being the size they are and a look at insect exoskeletons to see how their delicate frame manages to sustain mass.
Right now, the suit is expected to also incorporate liquid armour - liquid that solidifies when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied. Basically it turns solid upon impact by a bullet, proving a unique bulletproof mechanism.
Talos is expected to weigh as much as 400 pounds and 365 pounds of that just might made of batteries to power everything the suit has to offer. This is right where having Tony Stark would be handy. Fortunately, though, the government is fully invested in the project and has spent US$10 million with no cap on funding. The military hopes to deploy these suits by 2018.
Not a lot of time but with wearable tech seeing more improvements in the last couple of years than we've seen in a long time, who knows? It just might happen.
[Source: The Verge]