Army Envisions 'Iron Man' Suit for Special Ops

OK, it won't look like the comic-book version, but it has similarities

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2013 9:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you've ever dreamed of being a superhero, there may soon be reason to join the Army. It's developing a "revolutionary" armor that "promises to provide superhuman strength with greater ballistic protection," LiveScience reports. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit would include a bulletproof exoskeleton frame; sensors to monitor heart rate and hydration, detect injuries, and even apply foam to seal wounds; and a computer that includes 360-degree night-vision cameras. The Army is calling on multiple industries, government labs, and research organizations to make it happen, reports the BBC.

If it sounds to you like the stuff of movies, or perhaps comic books, you're not alone. "It sounds exactly like Iron Man," a professor at MIT told NPR for an earlier story, noting the use of hydraulics on the arms and legs to increase strength and speed. Like most superheroes, however, TALOS has a weakness. "For the Army's TALOS, the weak spot is either the need to carry around a heavy pump for a hydraulic system, or lots of heavy batteries," says the prof. "We don't have Iron Man's power source yet." The Army hopes a prototype will be ready by next year, though an advanced model could be a few years off.

A description of some parts of the TALOS suit.
A description of some parts of the TALOS suit.   (US Army)
This file photo of a film image released by Disney shows Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from The Avengers.
This file photo of a film image released by Disney shows Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from "The Avengers."   (AP Photo/Disney)
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A preview of the TALOS suit.   (YouTube)

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