BOCA BEARINGS 2015 INNOVATION COMPETITION

The first real Iron Man exoskeleton

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PROJECT BY


Presented By:
Douglas Dixon
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ABOUT THIS PROJECT


Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

In short, I am building the first fully functional 'Iron Man' exoskeleton. This first suit is primarily a systems test bed. I will be creating and testing a functional hydraulic movement system with near range internal sensors, and the primary and secondary power systems for untethered use. Beyond those goals, the suit will also incorporate an integrated HUD in the helmet, and several features will be added primarily for testing only. Exoskeletons currently have few to no applications, but I believe this is because no functioning suits exist. The immediate applications for protective exoskeletons would be fire fighting and hazardous waste handling. There are also other more adventurous applications such as space exploration and of course the military.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

I've been giving thought to this project for over 2 years now but only recently have I had the funds to begin assembling this first suit. I started on the project in late June of 2015.

What was your goal in building this project?

I have several goals for this project. It is an interesting science fiction project initially, but it also has great potential in a refined form to add safety and security to people who frequently put their life in harms way. Fire fighters, hazardous waste handling, law enforcement, military, etc. Honestly though, my biggest goal was simply to construct what is arguably the coolest piece of technology in the science fiction realm. Really.... Who wouldn't want to have an Iron Man suit..?

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

Space suits are bulky, inflexible, and time consuming to enter/exit. It makes sense that a lightly powered exosuit will replace the current breed. And with humans planning to set foot on Mars in the next few decades, it makes sense to replace the old tech with something new.

What makes your idea unique?

Like I said earlier... Who wouldn't want to wear a powered exosuit...? Yes, it's very unique.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

The bearings I really needed for the shoulder joint and the hip and knee joints were simply much too expensive for me to afford. That is why I created my own bearings using milled aluminum races and delrin balls. But real bearings will smoothe the movement of the suits joints significantly.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

The prize money will be used to complete this first suit. $5000 would allow me to incorporate more actual ball bearings into the design which will smoothe the movement and increase load and temperature tolerance.

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