back to article Bringing Iron Man to life: Exoskeletons, armour and jet packs

Radiation that gives you super-strength instead of disfiguring or killing you, spider bites that empower you to fight crime instead of threatening your life with a potentially fatal allergic reaction: when it comes to superheroes we need to suspend a decent amount of disbelief. But what about Marvel's The Avengers, the United …

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Hawkeye

As it's said there were 6 in the team but only 5 were named, allow me to add the 6th.

That said he is a fairly forgettable character, at least in the movie.

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Re: Hawkeye

Giving him back his purple costume would have made him far more memorable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hawkeye

Indeed, Jeremy Renner did complain that his character was under-used in The Avengers Assemble.

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Re: Hawkeye

I'd say they had a choice between Black Widow and Hawkeye for a lot of the plot and Widow won because she is the only woman in the team, has some sex appeal, and it made more sense for Loki to think he could manipulate her where as Hawkeye's just a guy with a bow.

Widow and Hawkeye are also the only two characters without their own films, which didn't help. In fact, they're introduced more as government/SHIELD agents than heroes (super or otherwise). However, of all the characters in the team, they are also the easiest to replicate in real life: Trick arrows are possible, and the gadgets Widow uses aren't that far fetched.

They are not, however, 'Super'.

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Anonymous Coward

How would you power it

A virtual power pack perhaps or a mini nuclear reactor?

James Bond has a jet pack, lasted all of 20 seconds before it was out of fuel.

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Anonymous Coward

The Americans actually believe Iron Man and his suit are real.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, but they also believe in God.

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Devil

Yeah, but they also believe in God.

Hands up for the deity in the passing parade of eternity, that YOU like.....

898,372,197 and counting.... deities that is.

Satan, because she rocks.

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Unhappy

Re: Hawkeye

Agreed, it's rather depressing to think Aquaman is more memorable than Hawkeye...

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JDX
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Re: Yeah, but they also believe in God.

British people believe in God/gods too... the majority of them in fact. Wonderful how two people in a row make such brain-dead comments in an attempt to make other people look stupid.

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Windows

Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

You're basically legless.

Plus the problem of leaving it for enemies (You're gonna carry that back to base???Plus whatever else you were carrying?), who'd delight in reverse-engineering it.

Nah.

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Holmes

Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

Maybe that's what it's for. Then your enemies spend millions on useless junk while you train men and buy guns.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

But you can carry 200lb of spare batteries to get you home.

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Boffin

Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

IIRC, the HULC and similar current designs are intended for rear area duties, such as loading supplies into choppers and shells into howitzers, and as such shouldn't be wandering too far from a recharge.

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Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

True but I'd suspect that you can't reverse engineer it in a cave with a box of scraps.

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Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

Sgt Apone: I don't know, is there anything you can do?

Lt Ripley: I can drive that loader. I've got a Class Two rating.

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Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

>True but I'd suspect that you can't reverse engineer it in a cave with a box of scraps.

B. A. Baracus could.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

I pity the fool who tries to do this - I pity the fool!

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Childcatcher

Re: Batttery on the HULC goes flat? One hour??

"are intended for rear area duties"

oh sir !!!

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Happy

Cap's shield is pretty tame.

The fun bit with vibranium is it is supposed to absorb impacts, which implies it converts the energy into another form. Seeing as heat seems to be the easiest way for nature to dump energy, you would have to assume Cap also has asbestos gloves to stop the shield frying his hands!

Of course, compared to some of the major suspensions of reality required for some superheroes, old Cap's shield is pretty tame. Our Marvel UK equivalent, Captain Britain, was a sometimes unhappy hybrid of Iron Man's suit, the Hulk, and was a half-alien child of some mystic land of Merlinian magic, endowed with flight with no visible means of propulsion at all!

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Joke

Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

Curry? ;)

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Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

>child of some mystic land of Merlinian magic

What amuses me is that in some of the Marvel mythos, wormholes that connect to different universes are situated in... Gloucestershire. And in Buffy the Vampire slayer series, one of the women goes on a witch training course in... Gloucestershire.

Which is of course nonsense. Anyone who has stood on the edge of the escarpment looking West over the horseshoe bend of the Severn knows that Gloucestershire is the Shires, the Forest of Dean is Mirkwood, and Wales is Mordor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

"Anyone who has stood on the edge of the escarpment looking West over the horseshoe bend..."

...is probably dogging at the Birdlip car park.

Just sayin'.

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Boffin

Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

"The fun bit with vibranium is it is supposed to absorb impacts, which implies it converts the energy into another form. Seeing as heat seems to be the easiest way for nature to dump energy, you would have to assume Cap also has asbestos gloves to stop the shield frying his hands!"

Actually, I've always rather assumed that Vibranium doesn't so much ABSORB kinetic energy as CHANNEL it. If it simply absorbed any impact, he couldn't ricochet the shield around when he flings it. Throw... hit... absorb impact *thunk*... fall to the ground. No; rather there must be something about the structure of the crystal that absorbs impact from one direction and ejects it orthogonally. This would also help to explain the 60-yard, multiple-ricochet throws -- it absorbs on the face but expels on the edge. (Maybe after a firefight where it took a lot of head-on impacts but didn't get thrown much, he has to dribble it edge-on like a basketball for a few minutes to bleed off the excess potential energy...)

Why, yes... I DO have a lot of free time -- why do you ask...?

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Happy

Re: Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

"Curry? ;)" Well, I was going to suggest Cornish pasties, but his powers once cut out completely whilst in the West Country.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

>...is probably dogging at the Birdlip car park.

Stroudie!

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Thumb Up

Re: Cap's shield is pretty tame.

>>> (Maybe after a firefight where it took a lot of head-on impacts but didn't get thrown much, he has to dribble it edge-on like a basketball for a few minutes to bleed off the excess potential energy...)

I like it, put that in the next movie.

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Iron man calling his attacks

Actually in the earlier movies and previous versions of the suit Stark does indeed have to state what he wants the suit to do. "Flares" "transfer all power to chest" etc.

I suspect the repulsor blasts are controlled by those things called "triggers" which we've known about for some time now. Put the hands in a certain position and flex a finger and boom.

However going by the footage from Iron Man 3, he's now onto version 6 or so of the suit. That means he's had plenty of time to refine the AI and biomechanical interfaces to be more efficient and intuitive for him to use. Unlikely to be easily used by someone else, but that's half the point.

Sure, the Arc Reactor is still a magic power supply in a box, but we've seen plenty of those in SF.

I think that is part of the reason Iron Man has always been relatively popular along with Batman - Superman, the Hulk, Thor, they are all blessed with varying levels of Magic Powers, while at the end of the day Batman & Iron Man are just rich intelligent people with good R&D and an exercise program.

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Thumb Up

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

"Batman & Iron Man are just rich intelligent people with good R&D and an exercise program."

And one of them is an angsty pillock who is pathetically hanging on to a couple of deaths forty years ago instead of appreciating his good fortune. What's the point of being a multi-billionaire superhero if you're always so damned miserable?

Stark>Wayne.

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Re: Iron man calling his attacks

Stark is an alcholic egomaniac, with a narsistic streek as big as the hulk buster. Wayne is a self controlled ninja, that thinks of himself as batman 1st and Bruce second, who fights crime becuase its the right thing to do, not to get the chicks.

Wayne>Stark

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Iron man calling his attacks@ Mike Brown

"Stark is an alcholic egomaniac, with a narsistic streek "

Come off it, if you (or I) were that rich, under-employed, and had access to that sort of tech, I'm sure we'd do the louche, show-off playboy, replete with live-in PA. Becoming a depressive do gooder running around with my underpants outside my trousers with just another bloke for company just doesn't cut the mustard.

Stark>>Wayne.

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Re: Iron man calling his attacks

> Stark is an alcholic egomaniac, with a narsistic streek as big as the hulk buster

You say this as if it were a bad thing?

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Pint

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

"Wayne is a self controlled ninja, that thinks of himself as batman 1st and Bruce second, who fights crime becuase its the right thing to do, not to get the chicks."

Except he does it so poorly, failing to solve the actual problem at the cost of countless lives due to a 'moral code' which is mere self-justification and self-actualisation. If he actually gave a damn about crime rather than himself and his own ego, he'd spend some of his vast swathes of money buying some better locks on Arkham's cells.

Everyone's parents die. Wayne needs to grow a pair and get over it. Both characters are ultimately totally egotistical. It's just Stark is honest about it.

Stark>Wayne.

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Re: Iron man calling his attacks

Only one of them runs around with rubber nipples, yet still manages to be the idol of every boy (and an unhealthy number of grown men).

Wayne>Stark

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Re: Iron man calling his attacks

One of them is actually quite amusing though, and doesn't need to hide his identity.

Stark>Wayne

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Pint

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

"Only one of them runs around with rubber nipples, yet..."

I'm pretty sure that's not the reason. If it were, fetish clubs would be very popular.

At first glance Batman has it because Black>Red. But a brief look at their motivations, successes and general levels of happiness shows Stark to be far less deluded, miserable and criminally insane.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

One works in private enterprise and the other relies on govt. handouts (military/weapons contracts) for money.

Wayne >> Stark

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Megaphone

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

Stark: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist

Wayne: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist detective pilot escape artist master of disguise fluent in Japanese / Cantonese / Mandarin / Spanish / French / Latin / German / Russian, mastered 127 styles of martial arts including taekwando / judo / muay thai / karate / boxing / jujitsu / ninjitsu, degrees in criminal science / forensics / computer science / chemistry / enginerring / biology / advanced chemistry

Wayne > Stark

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Iron man calling his attacks

http://www.cracked.com/blog/if-avengers-were-10-times-manlier/

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JDX
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Re: Iron man calling his attacks

@wowfood

Because Stark isn't an expert when it comes to physics, engineering, chemistry and computer-science? Nothing like choosing the answer you want to come up with before you start... simply label Stark as 'genius' but list every manifestation of Wayne's genius as a separate thing to make the list look longer.

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Anonymous Coward

It always comes back to the power source...

IIRC, a coke can sized lump of uranium has enough power to launch a space shuttle, if you could get at it safely....

for me the 2nd biggest problem is the armour, there is no material I know of that can be so thin and withstand the impacts that his suit does (I could accept that some form of non-newtonian material protects him)...

Now that all being said, I am off to my cave to start designing my own iron man suit....

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Terminator

Materials?

Carbon nanotubes rolled on the legs of Cuban virgins......

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So less Iron Man, more Custard Man?

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Anonymous Coward

Paint it on?

http://science.howstuffworks.com/liquid-body-armor1.htm

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WTF?

Power is one thing, propulsion is quite another. Basically, power means energy, but propulsion requires force, usually meaning mass, so how does the tiny Arc reactor actually provide propulsion?

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Clearly he uses an Ion engine!

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If he is flying in an atmosphere reaction mass shouldn't be a problem. I don't know about in the comics but in the films he doesn't seem to be able to operate in space for very long which makes sense.

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"for me the 2nd biggest problem is the armour, there is no material I know of that can be so thin and withstand the impacts that his suit does (I could accept that some form of non-newtonian material protects him)..."

Actually it's the inertial dampners. It doesn't matter how tough the armour is, the stuff inside is still squishy.

How can you fall/get thrown into the ground and leave a crater but not scramble the egg inside the shell?

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IIRC, a coke can sized lump of uranium has enough power to launch a space shuttle, if you could get at it safely....

A "coke can sized lump" of ice has enough power to launch a space shuttle a few times over - about 3e16 N. (355ml times density a bit less than 1 g/ml for ice at 0C divided by 1000 for g/kg times 9e16 for E=Mc^2.) The two solid boosters for the shuttle put out about 3e7 N together, according to you-know-wikiwhat.

It's just a matter of getting at it safely, by total mass conversion.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely the loader/exo-skeleton as seen in Aliens & Avatar shouldn't be that far away. And as they are both large, a self contained generator shouldn't add that much weight. Why go for small battery powered devices when you can super-size it and carry enough fuel for extended duration.

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