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Offline sammy

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Real-Life 'Iron Man' Mechanical Suit Unveiled
« on: September 30, 2010, 08:18:36 AM »
Real-Life 'Iron Man' Mechanical Suit Unveiled
by Matt McDaniel September 29, 2010

In 1963, Stan Lee imagined that a mechanized suit that could boost the wearer's strength and mobility might turn an average person into a superhero. That idea became the comic book "Iron Man." Today, a tech company is trying to turn that same notion into a reality.

This week, Raytheon Sarcos unveiled the XOS 2, a real-life mechanical exoskeleton suit that dramatically increases the strength of the person wearing it. Since "Iron Man 2" is hitting DVD shelves this week as well, they invited actor Clark Gregg, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson in the movie, to come to the company's Utah research facility and try it on for himself.

Watch a demonstration of the suit >>
Like Tony Stark, the inventor inside the Iron Man armor, Raytheon Sarcos produces defense technology for the military. The XOS 2 suit is intended to allow military personnel to lift heavy objects and perform repeated tasks without risking fatigue or injury. The company says the suit can allow one soldier to do the work of three and in less time. Someone in the XOS 2 can lift a 200 pound weight several hundred times without getting tired.

The XOS 2 is still a prototype, and it needs to be attached to a hydraulic engine in order to operate. But the company is working to increase its efficiency to the point where it will independently on a small onboard engine. While the suit looks bulky, it's maneuverable enough for the operator to do push-ups, climb stairs, and kick around a soccer ball.

Watch an exclusive DVD feature from 'Iron Man 2' >>
Raytheon's Dr. Frasier Smith told Engadget that right now the company is focused on creating suits for "logistics" -- lifting and carrying heavy equipment -- but that armored combat models are still in the planning stage. The company hopes to have their suits in operation within the next five years. There is no word on whether or not they plan to equip the suits with rocket boots or repulsor rays.
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