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Budding 'Iron Man' uses exoskeleton to lift a Mini Cooper

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 26, 2016 at 3:07 PM

TORONTO, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A Canadian man with Iron Man ambitions demonstrated the latest version of his homemade exoskeleton by lifting a Mini Cooper.

James Hobson, aka the Hacksmith, posted a video to YouTube showing how he created the lower-body exoskeleton and demonstrated his invention by using the leg-mounted pneumatic cylinders to lift a 2,524-pound Mini Cooper.

Hobson said he started the project from scratch after realizing his upper body exoskeleton, which was inspired by the film Elysium, wouldn't be able to prevent his body from being injured by the strain of such a heavy lift.

The inventor said the timetable for the invention was pushed up when German TV series Galileo contacted him about filming the car lift.

"Like most engineers, I work best under pressure, so with less than a week to go before the interview, we started working on the legs. Getting the strength to lift a car was quite easy. I had a pair of 63mm bore diameter pneumatic cylinders, which at 125PSI are capable of lifting over 800lbs a piece. The fun part was attaching them to my body in order to do it," he wrote on the Hackaday website.

Hobson said the next step is to create an upper-body portion of the exoskeleton, but he and his team are aiming their sights even higher -- if they crack 100,000 subscribers, they will recreate the flight test scene from Iron Man.

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