One of the studios responsible for bringing Marvel Comics’ “Iron Man” to the silver screen is stepping in to help the Pentagon build the armored Avenger in real life.
The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) project already boasts the help of big names, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon, along with a host of smaller companies, to build an armed, bullet-proof, super-strong, vital and enhanced perception-sensing battle suit. Some $10 million has reportedly been spent on the project, which at present has no budget cap.
Those names now include special effects studio Legacy Effects, which created “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” Tony Stark’s suit in the movies. Legacy will be stepping in to assist in designing and 3D-printing prototypes according to The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: The US military will have its first ‘Iron Man’ suit by summer)
“When you’re doing something for a movie it is all make-believe,” Legacy founder Lindsay MacGowan told the Journal. “Whereas, for the military, that’s really not going to be the case.”
Legacy will specifically be backing up exoskeleton creator Ekso Bionics in building a prototype capable of meeting all of the Pentagon’s high standards. Parties involved in the project have taken to exploring a number of unconventional research avenues, like studying the strength afforded to insects by their exoskeletons, or how sumo wrestlers move with speed and agility despite their weight.
Such information will likely have relevance — developers are projecting TALOS to weigh up to 400 pounds, 365 of which the military estimates will be made up of batteries to power all of the onboard systems.
Despite the lack of sufficient means to power the suit, the Pentagon has announced a tentative deployment date of 2018.