Aspiring Iron Man Builds Working Exoskeleton, Lifts 170 Pounds

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Aspiring Iron Man Builds Working Exoskeleton, Lifts 170 Pounds


It’s been a long road for Youtuber “The Hacksmith” to go from inspiration to working prototype. Originally inspired by the exo-suit worn by Matt Damon in Elysium, his real working version is now in the testing phase. So far, he’s successfully lifted 170 pounds of concrete and steel.  It’s built on a backpack-like frame with pneumatic cylinders connected to an air compressor for power.

The frame is made of perforated steel, square tubing, and a festo valve bank which regulates the air pressure. The pneumatics are rated for 250 psi and his current compressor operates at 125 psi.  The Hacksmith predicts that with a stronger air compressor, he could double the lifting capacity.

This project is a significant stepping stone toward his ultimate goal: making his own real world Iron Man suit!

Check out the video of the 170 pound barbell curl test:



1 thought on “Aspiring Iron Man Builds Working Exoskeleton, Lifts 170 Pounds

  1. johnstoner says:

    Yeah, I think you wanna start with the legs with something like this. Look at the physical design of a human. The source of power is the legs and lower body. The upper body gets all the attention, but the lower body does the work. From a power perspective the upper body mostly functions to transmit power to useful ends.

    Starting with the upper body is like building a house on sand.

    Still, very cool. And I’m glad he didn’t injure himself.

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Theron is an educator, business owner, writer, and consultant working within Springfield, MO and the Ozarks community. He enjoys making and building with his 11 year old son and likes to read and write about science, technology, education, sci fi, martial arts, and philosophy.

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