For some, the biggest suspension of disbelief in Iron Man’s origin isn’t the notion of Tony Stark engineering jet-powered armor. It’s the idea of him building a highly-effective prototype with a very limited selection of materials. Well, once again, real life proves how something that seems a little far-fetched in a super-hero story is actually fairly plausible.
Engineer Vimal Govind Manikandan has built a super-strong exoskeleton, or “wearable robot,” which can lift over 330 pounds through the power of pressurized air chambers. What’s most impressive, though, is that the suit only cost about $750 to build. And according to an Al Jezeera profile on Vimal, he also has very Stark-like ambitions of developing it further for the Indian military.
We might look at this and see a real life Iron Man, but Vimal was actually inspired by other movie mechs–specifically the AMP suits in Avatar. Though judging by this video, wherein he pops & locks in the suit while rocking a pair of stylish aviators, you have to wonder if Top Gun factored into his early daydreams too.
Speaking of older flicks, remember Project Grizzly?
Vimal isn’t the only man to make a power suit in his garage. Canadian inventor Troy Hurtubise (in)famously built several marks of a bear-proof armor, the Ursus, with the intent of settling a grudge with a grizzly. The Ursus didn’t boast the strength of Vimal’s armor, but it was durable enough to protect Hurtubise from high-speed collisions and vicious assaults from armed biker gangs.
Watch this montage of the Ursus’ testing process and wonder whether Troy and Vimal ought to combine their efforts for an even mightier armor, or if they should square-off in a Real Steel match.
Has all this inspired you to construct you own homemade super-suit? Hit the talkback with your plans of mechanical breakthrough.
Featured Image Credit: Marvel