The US military doesn’t have a Tony Stark, but it still wants an Iron Man suit.
Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal published new details on the military’s plans to create a Stark-style powersuit—dubbed Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit or TALOS—that outline a suit giving the operator superhuman strength, perception, as well as the ability to deflect bullets and return fire. The Verge reports that to do this, the military has contracted with large engineering firms like Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon.
But to get a real Iron Man suit right, Hollywood companies have stepped in. The Oscar-nominated designers at Legacy Effects—the teams that actually designed the Iron Man suit from the movies, as well as the RoboCop suit—are on board with the project to help designs and rapid 3D-printed prototyping.
We are closer than you think to Iron Man-style “exosuits,” even if Tony’s creations are a bit beyond our reach. Films like Elysium and most recently Edge of Tomorrow show the more realistic versions of what private companies and the military have already come up with, struggling with problems that Stark solved in his universe. The biggest problem is weight. The Pentagon estimates that the number of batteries alone needed to bring their vision to life would weigh close to 400 pounds (181 kilograms). Stark’s immensely powerful “arc reactor” probably weighs less than a pound.
Ten million dollars has already been spent on project TALOS, with no reported budget limit. No limit on funding will help, as the military previously stated that they wanted to roll out the first suits as early as 2018. Some skeptics of the plan note that to get someone off the ground and firing energy blasts (or the military’s equivalent) it might cost more like a billion dollars. To get something so advanced out the door so quickly, it helps that the military and Tony Stark at least have one thing in common: deep pockets.
Of course, the military could always reach out to this guy if they can’t find a Tony Stark:
HT The Verge