ON August 17th, 2016 Vimal Govind Manikandan, an engineering student from Kerala, recently made international headlines after building a fully-functional exosuit inspired by Marvel superhero, Ironman.
People have been building their own Ironman suits for years, but while those are all just good-looking replicas, Vimal’s version actually works. The 100-kg-heavy suit doesn’t fly, or shoot energy beams like that of the actual Ironman, but it can move at a decent pace, perform basic actions and even lift up to 150 kgs, thanks to battery-powered pressurized air chambers. And it only cost $750 to make.
The crafty engineering student said that he was inspired to build real-life-Ironman his impressive suit by Hollywood superhero movies, particularly, Marvel’s The Avengers. He doesn’t plan on becoming a real-life superhero himself, though, and has much more practical plans for his creation. “Actually, the future of this product is mainly in defense, industrial weight lifting, material handling etc,” he said. Meh, not as exciting as fighting super villains, but I guess it pays the bills, if you’re not as rich as Tony Stark.
This is actually Vimal Govind Manikandan’s second exosuit. He and his friends built their first prototype -- code name “Generation One” -- last year. It was larger than his latest creation, but mechanically-powered.
Vimal says he will continue to refine his amazing Ironman suit, focusing particularly on its walking ability, which he considered restricted right now. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next year.