Slowly all the individual components are coming together to build what we know as Iron Man. Computing and robotics in general are advancing in leaps and bounds. What was once thought of as impossible is now pretty much a reality.
Imagine one day waking up and instead of dressing up in a traditional suit (for example, let’s say a shirt and tie) you say something to the effect of “Let’s suit up!”, hold your arms straight out in a gesture similar to a crucifix and wait while your bionic suit automatically senses your position and begins attaching itself to you. Okay, I admit it! That last part is still a little farfetched but as far as the actual suit part, we’re pretty much there.
Exoskeletons are now in development to assist soldiers battle fatigue while hiking up and down mountains and other types of rugged terrain. These robotic units have a computing system that senses a soldier’s actions and kicks in with a “power steering” style of assistance. Troops won’t have to worry about the 100 – 150lbs of equipment they’re carrying around. The exoskeleton virtually eliminates the heavy lifting which in turn allows the soldier to travel farther and carry much heavier loads.
Exoskeletons are great but they’re merely one component of the actual Iron Man suit as a whole. There are still communications links, augmented reality displays, and my personal favorite hand/feet embedded rocket propulsion units. The latter feature would really come in handy during your rush hour commute however we may still be quite a few years away from realizing that feature.
Realistically, it’s just a matter of time until all these components actually mesh together to form a complete suit. All the individual technologies exist and they all have practical uses in their current forms. Once they do converge, it’ll be undeniably the ultimate wearable computing device. In my estimation, I see this slowly coming together in front of our eyes.
The rate at which mobile computing power and other technologies are progressing, we may see actual Iron Man-like suits in the near future. What we have to keep in mind here is that a suit of that magnitude is not just one individual unit, if you will, but a mini-network of multiple devices and technologies. All these devices have their unique specifications and protocols that allow them to function and communicate with each other.
This concept of a mini network is yet another part of the overall equation. Much like the Internet is a network of networks all interconnected to one another, so would be a suit of this type. The attire would be multiple devices, sensors and communication devices all talking to one another to create a suit like no other.
Happy reading my friends!