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Meet India’s Iron Man

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David Cornish
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Vimal Govin Manikandan is not the orphan of a murdered billionaire. He hasn't been subjected to radioactive gamma rays that have given him super-human intelligence. His body doesn't contain a miniature fusion reactor.

But don't let that take the shine off the achievements of this student of MES College of Engineering. This real-life Marvel hero has constructed an 100kg exoskeleton that can lift 150kg.

How does it work?

Do you want the long version or the short?

The short is that Manikandan's £580 suit uses hydraulics and pressure sensors to walk and lift under the guidance of its 'pilot'. 

The long version can be read in Manikandan's research paper, which you can read here.

Manikandan has big plans for his exosuits

The student told Al Jazeera that he hopes to build and sell suits for the military. Seriously, it's like he watched Iron Man and went straight to the engineering lab. 

He does actually draw his inspiration from sci-fi films though

The first model of his exosuit took its design cues from the 'Amplified mobility platform' of James Cameron's Avatar

"The application of this technology is not limited," writes Manikandan. "[It] can be used anywhere where humans require extra protection and power, eg Defense, Industrial heavy works etc." 

We hope that 'etc' doesn't include going to war with giant aliens, but we know who to call when we make first contact...

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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