U.S. Army Developing a Real Live 'Iron Man' Suit
Coming soon to a top-secret government lab near you…Iron Man?
Sort of. Last week, in a case of life imitating art -- or least the demands of the domestic box office -- President Obama made mention of an Army project called TALOS during remarks at a White House event announcing the development of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in Detroit and Chicago.
Obama jokingly said of the undertaking, "Basically I'm here to announce that we're building Iron Man…This has been a secret project we've been working on for a long time. Not really. Maybe. It’s classified."
The Army is indeed currently at work building a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit or TALOS. The suit is meant for Special Operations Forces, and while it can't fly, it does repel flames and ammunition. In addition to protecting soldiers, the Army said in an announcement this fall that it hopes the technology that is being developed for the suit can be used to create even better prosthetics for soldiers wounded in the line of duty. Prototypes are expected to be ready for testing in June.
Last month, Paul Verhoeven's 1987 cult classic RoboCop was rebooted with The Killing's Joel Kinnamen in the title role. The most recent episode of Community had Abed (Danny Pudi) highly anticipating/dreading the remake of his favorite robot vigilante movie "Kickpuncher."
And in Robert Downey Jr.'s third outing as Iron Man last summer, he defeated Guy Pearce's revenge-driven mad scientist (but aren't they all?) alongside his friend James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). To lend a hand, the Colonel was decked out in an uber-patriotic, government-sponsored super suit to become: War Machine.
You can't say that TALOS isn't on trend.
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Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.