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Monday, May 19, 2008

Real life Iron Man

Raytheon Company is working on a super-strength exoskeleton:

Raytheon Company’s newest research facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, is developing a robotic suit for the soldier of tomorrow. Known as the Exoskeleton, it’s essentially a wearable robot that amplifies its wearer’s strength, endurance, and agility. In its May issue, Popular Science magazine likens the Exoskeleton to the “Iron Man”® in the movie of the same name and suggests a blurring of the lines between science fiction and reality.

Built from a combination of sensors, actuators and controllers, the futuristic suit enables a user to easily carry a man on his back or lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring. Yet the suit, which is being developed for the U.S. Army, is also agile enough to let its wearer kick a soccer ball, punch a speed bag, and climb stairs and ramps with ease.

What I wonder is: why was the guy testing it wearing a helmet?

Seeing that story reminded me of this one from last week:

Years ago, aviation enthusiast and inventor Yves Rossy dreamed of soaring through the sky like a bird.

In 2006 that dream took flight.

Known as Switzerland’s "Fusion Man," Rossy in November 2006 became the first man in the world to fly with wings and four jet engines strapped to his body; on Wednesday he displayed that talent to the world.
There's pictures at the above link, as well as links to video:

The pilot - Yves Rossy - has a website, but it’s in French or something.