Wonderful Engineering

US Army Will Have Its Own Iron Man Soldiers By 2018

We all went crazy when Iron Man was released, no doubt the first entity we were drooling over was Robert Downey Jr., but we were also impressed with the suit that he wore. However, it seems that it wasn’t just the fans that went head over heels in love with Iron man but the US military isn’t shy in showing its interest in Iron Man suit either. According to the recent information that has been released, US military is working on creating an Iron Man suit for their soldiers.

The project has been termed as TALOS and according to the news that is floating around, the military wants it to have a weapon, be bulletproof, keep an eye on vitals and impart superhuman strength and perception to the user. To achieve this ambitious goal, US military has called upon the private sector to chip in and big guns such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon are becoming a part of this. However, that is not all, even the smaller companies are chipping in for the project.

One such company is the Legacy Effects – responsible for the Iron Man suit we all saw in the movies. The company is lending a hand in designing and the 3D printing of prototypes. Legacy Effects, however, is working on behalf of Ekso Bionics that is an exoskeleton creator. Lindsay MacGowan, founder of Legacy Effects, says; ‘When you’re doing something for a movie it is all make-believe. Whereas, for the military, that’s really not going to be the case.’

As of now, the issue at hand is to come up with an exoskeleton that is capable of tackling everything that the company has in mind for the suit. The companies are opting for different approaches and methodologies; one company is studying sumo wrestlers to ascertain how they are capable of moving so fast despite the heavy weight. Meanwhile one group of researchers is working on insects’ exoskeletons in order to determine how they maintain the necessary strength.

As per the suit developers, the TALOS will weigh somewhat around 400 pounds out of which 365 might just go for the batteries required to power the suit. The current expense of the budget has already exceeded $10 million and as per the information, there is no cap on the budget so far. Military in previous statements stated that they would like to deploy TALOS by 2018, however, that is dependent upon how quick they team TALOS can overcome the hurdles.