Yup, you heard it right. Iron Man’s suit is being built by Hyundai. Tiny arc reactor will be present in the suit. Virtually indestructible and super strong thanks to a mechanized suit of gold-titanium alloy. If one guy can build such a suit, surely an entire car company can do it, too, at least that’s Hyundai’s perspective. The company posted a series of photos and some scant information about a wearable robot it’s building on its blog on Wednesday.
The exoskeleton looks nothing like Stark’s suit, but the Marvel superhero is clearly an inspiration. In the page announcing the project, Hyundai repeatedly references Iron Man’s suit, more or less wondering if people realized that the wearable robot they’ve only seen in movies is actually being developed by Hyundai. Hyundai’s wearable robot is being designed to work in a variety of scenarios, including manufacturing, where Hyundai believes it can help increase productivity, while lowering the incidence of injuries. Like the Iron Man suit, Hyundai’s exoskeleton will give the wearer super-lifting strength. Hyundai wrote that it can lift “hundreds of kilograms,” would could translate to 600 pounds of lifting strength. Since the entire suit weighs roughly 50 kilograms (110 pounds), it could be useful in defense, where pilots can “move quickly over long distances.”
It’s also being developed to help paraplegics walk again, and aid the elderly become more mobile and even stand for longer periods of time. Beyond the photos and Hyundai’s slightly hyperbolic promises, significant questions remain. When will it come to market? How’s the battery life? And, perhaps most importantly, how much does it cost? We’ve contacted Hyundai for details and will update this post with its response. What Hyundai does promise is that “wearable robot development of the Hyundai Motor Group will eventually lead to the free movement of people and things,” and lead to something it’s calling “Next Mobility.”