If you’ve seen any of the Iron Man movies, you know it’s all about the suit.
Tony Stark, as played by Robert Downey, Jr., is the epitome of suave wit—but without his metal shell, he’s just another engineer who’s made good. Once he’s sealed himself into his Autonomous Prehensile Propulsion Suit, though, he has everything from self-repair capabilities to plasma-based propulsion, all guided with the assistance of an advanced A.I. As a vehicle, it might not be as big as one of Larry Ellison’s catamarans, but it’s a lot flashier and can blow things up.
The exoskeleton is a technology platform that, while young, is gaining traction in industrial, medical and military circles. For several years, the U.S. Special Operations Command has been working on a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or “TALOS,” that would provide “provide [infantry with] comprehensive ballistic protection and peerless tactical capability,” in the words of Gen. Joseph Votel, SOCOM’s commander.