August 18, 2011
Last fall, Raytheon unveiled its 2nd generation real life Iron Man suit, which they actually call the Exoskeleton (XOS 2) – though I think the name “Iron Man Suit” is more fun. This new suit is lighter, faster, and stronger than the XOS 1 and uses 50% less power.
Check out the demo they did with Paramount Home Entertainment:
So, as cool as this technology is, what are its practical uses? Who is going to buy this thing?
You get 3 guesses, and the first 2 don’t count.
For all of you who guessed the military, pat yourself on the back. The most practical use for the Iron Man Suit is easing the strain and exertion of lifting heavy stuff. I can only imagine the price point of this thing, and I cannot image a trucking, warehousing, or construction company buying a bunch, even if, according to the press release, it can do the work of 2-3 people. Hence, I added “coming soon” to this post. Unless you are the Department of Defense, this thing is not coming soon to a Best Buy near you.
What about other uses, though? Fun ones? What about football played in these suits! I can only imagine the size of a field they’d need – that football would go flying really far through the air. Plus, the game would look like a Transformers movie. That’s pretty cool.
A super short rundown on the technology behind it. The suit is built from a combination of structures, sensors, actuators and controllers that are powered by high pressure hydraulics and enable a user to easily lift 200 lbs several hundred times without tiring.
In the press release, they describe movement in the suit as “agile and graceful.” I don’t think I would use graceful to describe the movement of someone wearing the bulky Iron Man Suit, but it is kinda true. Watch the video – what do you think? Apt description?
You can read the full press release here.
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