Every 10-year-old kid who’s into action figures and superhero movies has probably dressed up as Iron Man at least once for Halloween. The people in the US military have surpassed their trick or treating days, but they still want their own Iron Man suit to play with.
We introduce to you TALOS, the US government’s suit meant to replicate Tony Stark’s life sustaining, evil-busting armor. The government wants it to be fully equipped with a weapon, provide bullet protection, monitor vitals and give the wearer superhuman strength and perception.
Tony Stark, the Marvel Comics character who created the suit, can't exactly bring ideas to the table, but Legacy Effects is as close as it gets. The company is the special effects maker that created the Iron Man suit for the movies. They’ll be helping with design and 3D print prototypes, and other smaller companies and private sectors are pitching in as well.
Legacy Effects is lending a hand in the project on behalf of Ekso Bionics, an exoskeleton creator. "When you're doing something for a movie it is all make-believe," Legacy founder Lindsay MacGowan told The Wall Street Journal, via The Verge. "Whereas, for the military, that's really not going to be the case."
So knowing how to make things look real in films isn’t going to be the end all be all. Companies working on the project have been doing other research, including studying how sumo wrestlers mange to move around so quickly and how insect’s exoskeletons maintain their strength.
Of course, constructing a super suit is going to come with problems. For one, TALOS is expected to weigh as much as 400 pounds, 365 of which might consist only of batteries required to power all of the suit’s systems. So yeah, figuring out how to power the suit so it turns on would be a good start.
There’s no budget, and $10 million has reportedly been spent on the project so far. The military say they’d like to have the suit up and running by 2018. So that means we have about four more years to play pretend Iron Man before the suit actually becomes a real weapon of destruction…