Real Life Iron Man Builds Super Strength “Suit”


JAMES: I want to create an exoskeleton that allows you to be able to do superhuman feats.
Ideally, I’d like to be a real life Tony Stark. JAMES: Growing up as a child I always loved comics and movies, and like every other 8-year-old
boy I dreamed of some day being a superhero. And now that I am an adult and I actually
have the access to some of these tools and recourses that allow me to build
these things, I guess I am kind of fulfilling my childhood dream. COMM: Taking his inspiration from comic books, movies and video games, James Hobson has quit
his job to concentrate on developing and building an exoskeleton in his home workshop in Kitchener,
Ontario. JAMES: Elysium was my original inspiration. It was the first time I saw a movie that actually
had a relatively realistic exoskeleton portrayed in it. It wasn’t too crazy, it wasn’t
an Iron Man suit, it was actually something that looked like it could actually exist.
And that’s what inspired me to try and build an exoskeleton in my very own garage. COMM: His experiments started after a friend gave him a couple of pneumatic cylinders,
and his first prototype was based around his upper body. JAMES: Alright, attempting to curl a 171 and a half pounds with my homemade exoskeleton. JAMES: 170 pounds. COMM: Next he started to think about his lower body. JAMES: The new exoskeleton, however, is actually based out of ‘Call of Duty’. So this is
a pneumatic power pack. This is where the exoskeleton gets its strength from. This is
an industrial air compressor which compresses air to 200psi in this tank which is then provided
by these manifolds to the various cylinders on the design in the exoskeleton. These legs
allow you to lift up to 1600 pounds thanks to the air compressor. Just before Christmas
a German TV show actually reached out. They wanted to film an interview. I told them I
had to do some kind of big feat of strength. I was like, “How about lifting a Mini Cooper,”
‘cause we got this Mini Cooper in the garage we are fixing it up right now. So we thought,
‘What if we could pick up that.’ So that was our goal. JAMES: We were able to lift the Mini Cooper, and there weren’t any critical failures,
so I call that a success. JAMES: Once we’ve finished some of the refines to the lower body design, we are gonna move
up the back, and start working on the upper body. It’s going to feature more pneumatic
cylinders to give you lifting strength on the upper body and back support too. So you
can actually bend over and pick up heavy objects. COMM: James hopes that the growing popularity of his YouTube channel will allow him to crowdfund
the development of his full suit. And it’s not just about dressing up as a superhero. JAMES: I see there being a lot of potential for exoskeletons in the future; whether it’s
for medical use, military or search and rescue or even construction. Having an exoskeleton
could allow human workers to be able to do the job that machines or robots do. Imagine
a forklift that you can wear. In a search and rescue or a disaster scenario, you could
pick up a car, like I did, using your exoskeleton to rescue someone. You could hold heavy weights,
you could move rubble; there’s tons of possibilities. There are still many improvements we need
to do to the design to complete this exoskeleton but as you can see it’s been a pretty good
working prototype so far.

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