The U.S. military’s TALOS armor, slated to debut this month, will certainly be really, really cool. But will it fly or shoot lasers?!
Back in February, while announcing two new Pentagon-sponsored manufacturing hubs in Chicago and Detroit, President Obama made a joke. “Basically,” he said, “I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man.”
There was, of course, a kernel of truth to this: The Army is working on an Iron Man suit, called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS for short. Built by DARPA, the robotic exoskeleton is designed to be worn under a soldier’s standard fatigues, increasing his or her strength, improving stamina, and offering limited protection from enemy gunfire. It looks pretty badass, too.
Which is all fine and good! But as any fair-weather superhero fan knows, TALOS is still a far cry from Tony Stark's canonical closet of Iron Man armors. So, we decided to take a look at some of the other real-life technologies being developed today to try and build something an avenging superhero might—or might not—actually want to wear. (Keyword: “try.”)
How would it fly? What would its helmet do? What would even power the thing?
So we asked around. We talked with experts, dug around, and surveyed the current landscape of forward-thinking technologies available. We tried to build our own Iron Man.
And, well, uh, this is what we came up with: