'Iron Man' suit touted for the military

Could be used by Special Forces

SAN DIEGO - "Iron Man" the movie is based on the Marvel comic, and Iron Man for the military is something the head of Special Forces Command wants.  

"It won't be easy, but we are in the realm of possibility of making it happen," said Russ Angold, who is with Ekso-Bionics, a Richmond, Calif. exoskeleton company which hopes to be part of the TALOS project.

TALOS, or Tactical Assault Lightweight Operator Suit, stems from a conference held by Special Forces Command as a call to arms, so to speak, for defense and technology companies to come together to see what is possible.

"Technology has advanced so much in the last 10 years, yet very little has been done to leverage that technology in protection of the soldier in the gear they wear," said Angold.

He went on to say, "We need to build an F-35 strike fighter for two legs."

The idea is to build a lightweight suit of armor that can also communicate with orbiting drones, repel bullets and shrapnel while allowing the wearer to easily move the exoskeleton about while keeping them safe.  

"I think the fundamental technologies are there to make it happen and if it does happen, it will have a huge spin off effect for first responders," Angold said.

Right now, it is just an idea but the hope is to have a working prototype in 12 months.

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