US Military Develops Iron Man Suit

By Norbert Hildebrand
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The US military (DoD) is looking to develop an iron man suit for its special forces units. It states that the new TALOS  (Tactical Assault Light Operators Suit) is also very helpful in other applications independent of military operations. The new suit won’t be a copy of the famous Iron Man suit from the movies, but I guess that the imagination of the movie makers is having some effect on the early designs.

The US military has been working on exoskeleton suits for years, but has stepped up the effort with the joint acquisition task force entering the phase of rapid prototyping. The first task force event took place in 2014 to bring together people from academia, industry and potential operators in an early stage. The first prototype is expected to be ready by 2018.

Developing the suit has its own set of challenges, with power and the vision system being mentioned specifically. While existing models depend on external power sources, this new model should be able to carry its own independent power source. 

The vision and sensor system is another area of concern. The display technology used is not mentioned specifically, but the DoD does say that the optical sensor system creates too much latency. In existing models users are experiencing nausea after only 30 minutes of use. This a familiar issue with other virtual reality glasses like Ocular Rift. Oculus has moved to OLED display panels with higher frame rate to mitigate this issue. – NH