In a strange move for a company best-known for its cars, Hyundai Motor Group recently announced plans to build a “wearable robot” that takes inspiration from the Iron Man suit.
That isn’t us making a colourful comparison, the company itself includes pictures of the red and gold armour on the blog post announcing the machine.
But, they’re not being entirely genuine. The suit isn’t meant to turn you into a flying superhero, but it rather allows you to lift extremely heavy objects. It’s being claimed that it will allow the wearer to move 50 kilograms over long distances as well as lifting “hundreds of kilograms”.
There’s also a less intense version created to help those with mobility problems. Part of the “Next Mobility” system, it focuses on restoring a person’s ability to walk instead of enhancing their strength.
We had some reservations about writing this story. “Exoskeletons” have been around, in reality as well as in fiction, for a very long time now. They’ve been used to help the paralysed walk, make factory workers stronger, and even have some fun with LEGO.
The real interest here is that Hyundai is borrowing the Iron Man brand to market their project when the relation between the two is extremely tenuous at best. Next time a company wants to make these claims, we want to see functioning arc reactors and repulsors, damnit.