The abundance and success of movies based on comic book characters have brought conversations about the related technology into a more mainstream arena. And perhaps the most popular of those tech-related conversations revolves around the Iron Man suit or some variation of it.
Arguably, the closest working replica is a jet engine-powered exoskeleton created by Richard Browning. It doesn’t utilize an arc reactor or Infinity Stone but does feature five jet engines, a 3D-printed exterior, and a head-up display showing all of those critical instrument readings.
While you won’t need a special license to operate Browning’s suit, you will need about $446,000, and hopefully a somewhat knowledgeable salesperson at the London-based department store Selfridges. According to Browning, most can “hover untethered very happily” after a five-minute discourse with someone who’s knowledgeable with the suit.
Browning has been working on the suit for a while, first unveiling a prototype in 2017. The most important improvement has been adjusting the geometry of the arms to provide greater stability in tapping into a human being’s natural ability to achieve proper balance.
He also cautions, however, that operator success is dependent on fitness level and aptitude. He feels that the price will eventually come down and is even working on an electric version that would eliminate the costs associated with the jet engines and related fuel.
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