The U.S. Army is enlisting the tech industry, academics, and government labs to create a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), bringing the fictional Tony Stark's "Iron Man" suit into reality.
According to a press release, TALOS may use a new type of liquid armor under development at MIT. The armor is said to be able to transform from a "liquid to solid in milliseconds when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied," providing full-body ballistic protection.
In addition to protecting troops from bullets, the suit of armor will have an exoskeleton that uses hydraulics meant to provide "superhuman strength."
The "smart" body armor will be made of cutting-edge materials and fitted with a number of sensors to monitor heart rate, hydration and body temperature, among other things. The suit would be able to provide basic life support functions including heat, air, and oxygen.
The TALOS will have an on-board computer to enhance the troop's situational awareness, with both a Google Glass-like visual display and a non-visual means of information display. The request also calls for the potential "utilization of cognitive thoughts and the surrounding environment to display personalized information."
The commando suit will also have an integrated weapon, of course.
"The requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that," said Lt Col Karl Borjes, a science adviser at the U.S. Army's research, development and engineering command.
"It's advanced armor. It's communications, antennas. It's cognitive performance. It's sensors, miniature-type circuits. That's all going to fit in here, too," he added.