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Sci-Fi Technology

The Effort To Create an 'Iron Man' Type Exoskeleton 52

Nerval's Lobster writes: Tony Stark, as played by Robert Downey, Jr., is the epitome of suave wit—but without his metal shell, he's just another engineer who's made good. The exoskeleton is a technology platform that, while young, is gaining traction in industrial, medical and military circles. For several years, the U.S. Special Operations Command has been working on a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or "TALOS," that would provide "provide [infantry with] comprehensive ballistic protection and peerless tactical capability," in the words of Gen. Joseph Votel, SOCOM's commander. Meanwhile, several companies—including Raytheon, Ekso Bionics and US Bionics—are working on products that could help the disabled become more mobile, or allow warehouse and other workers to handle physical tasks with greater efficiency and safety. That means people who specialize in robotics, artificial intelligence, and other areas have an increasing opportunity to get involved. According to Homayoon Kazerooni, president of Berkeley-based US Bionics and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, control and software engineers are the leads in developing these next-generation products. Although he can't estimate the ultimate size of the market for these intelligent exoskeletons, Kazerooni describes the industry as "fast-growing, but infant," with "very diverse uses" for the suits. Just don't expect the aforementioned suits to allow you to fly or blow anything up anytime soon.
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The Effort To Create an 'Iron Man' Type Exoskeleton

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  • >> ...people who specialize in robotics, artificial intelligence, and other areas have an increasing opportunity to get involved...

    Lemme fix that for ya': ...defense contractors who can claim they can build out the necessary robotics, AI, and other areas have an increasing opportunity to get lucrative contracts...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Article about real-life Iron Man suits (Yeah! Exoskeletons! W00t!)

    Initial Post: 2:43 PM EST
    First Comment: 2:50 PM EST

    SEVEN MINUTES and NOBODY had ANYTHING to say?

    Sure, sure. I guess everyone must have just gone to RTFA... riiight.

    Sigh.

  • No, without his suit, Tony Stark is a "Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist [youtube.com]."

    Do I have to explain the simplest things to you people?

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @03:20PM (#50599915) Homepage
    The comic is correct, the only thing stopping us from doing this already is portable power source capable of fueling it for any reasonable amount of time.

    Which we DO NOT HAVE.

    Without it, all they have is a man in a suit with a long power cord - a cord that can easily also transfer commands, which moves the pilot out of the suit and into a significantly safer nearby workstation. Put in a camera with an optional microphone and you reduces the weight the machine has to move around.

    Which means what we can do is create an industrial robot.

    Putting the man inside is incredibly stupid - until we have a viable power source. If we get that power source, the mech suit becomes an incredibly GOOD idea.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @03:29PM (#50599997) Journal

    For several years, the U.S. Special Operations Command has been working on a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or "TALOS,"

    "Talos"? Now the SOC is just trolling us.

    • I've always heard you should stay away from Talos 4.

    • by flink ( 18449 ) on Friday September 25, 2015 @04:53PM (#50600767)

      For several years, the U.S. Special Operations Command has been working on a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or "TALOS,"

      "Talos"? Now the SOC is just trolling us.

      Talos in Greek mythology was an animated bronze colossus who was charged with guarding Europa, so it seems appropriate in this context. You see it pop up a lot in fiction and when naming programs that deal with anthropomorphic robots, particularly military ones.

      • by Minwee ( 522556 )
        I'm sure that the final design will come with a single nail-shaped button on the ankle, complete with a warning label saying "Do Not Remove".
        • I'm sure that the final design will come with a single nail-shaped button on the ankle, complete with a warning label saying "Do Not Remove".

          Thank the gods, somebody gets my reference.

      • Talos in Greek mythology was an animated bronze colossus who was charged with guarding Europa, so it seems appropriate in this context.

        Yes, that was my point.

        You see it pop up a lot in fiction and when naming programs that deal with anthropomorphic robots, particularly military ones.

        You apparently don't know the whole story. This is where a classical education comes in handy: Talos was killed when Medea drove him crazy by giving him drugs and then pulling the plug out of his heel.

        Talos was a failure whose

  • I for one am worried were approaching this technology from only one side. We need to find an alcoholic, intellectual playboy with a debilitating terminal illness caused by an exotic, unstable power source permanently embedded in his chest.
  • If we could just get the exo suit from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that would be a fantastic start...
    • I'd settle for something that would let you carry the current gear load with less fatigue. That alone would be giant improvement.
  • Meanwhile, several companies [...] are working on products that could [...] allow warehouse [...] workers to handle physical tasks with greater efficiency and safety.

    Get away from her, you BITCH!

All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism.

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