Tag Archives: “powered armor”

Powered Armor Discussion


POWER. At the core of both Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit is the electromagnet embedded in his chest to keep shrapnel from finding its way to his heart and killing him.  While in captivity he develops an arc reactor, which is essentially a highly miniaturized fusion reactor.  The reactor powers the electromagnet keeping him alive, and has plenty of energy left over to power the first suit his Mark I suit.  The original reactor he builds starts to poison him with palladium, so he develops a new element which he calls vibranium.  As analyzed by Sidney Perkowitz of Emory University, the reactor should generate anywhere between 1 and 16 million horsepower.


MATERIALS.  The Iron Man suit goes through multiple different materials and configurations throughout its evolving iterations.  The Mark II armor, the first Stark makes after returning from captivity, was made of stainless steel and presented problems of weight and icing at altitude.  From the Mark III onwards, the suits are made of a gold-titanium alloy, which not only solves the freezing issue but also proves to be extremely durable.  In one session it withstands small arms fire, an explosion from a nearby tank shell, a fall of several thousand feet, 20mm Vulcan shells, and an airborne collision with an F-22 – all with relatively minor damage. Continue reading

Slipping into Powered Armor

After discussing our goals for our project, we established that the central three aspects of our research will be media, technology, and current research.  All of us will contribute to these three aspects, but each of us will oversee one of them.

Gary will oversee media portrayals, where we will consider questions like:

What various forms of powered armor have been introduced so far in movies and video games?

What proposed or current technology do they run on?

How feasible are they?

How practical are they in the real world?

Nick will oversee necessary technology, where we will all have to collaborate to answer many questions like:

What power sources, materials, and UI’s (user interfaces) are or might become available to us?

How efficient are the power sources?

How long do they last / how often must they recharge?

How heavy are they?

What are the primary deciding factors for the materials in different environments – Weight?  Cost?  Durability and resistance to wear?

What UI’s are best for various applications?  If the driving mechanism is perception and amplification of the user’s motions, how can we control responsiveness?

Sean will oversee current research and development, which will provide hints as to:

What types of exoskeletons have we built so far?  What technologies have we employed in them?

What priorities seem to govern our progress with exoskeletons – military, medical, construction, or something else?