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A real-life 'Iron Man' suit (photos)

Defense contractor Raytheon Sarcos unveils its XOS 2 exoskeleton as part of an "Iron Man 2" DVD and Blu-ray release promotion.

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Daniel Terdiman
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Clark wearing XOS 2

To celebrate the release of the hit film "Iron Man 2" on DVD and Blu-ray, engineers at the Salt Lake City, Utah, facilities of defense contractor Raytheon Sarcos have unveiled images showcasing a real-life exoskeleton very much like the one featured in the movies. The suit is called the XOS 2.

Wearing the suit is actor Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulsen in the "Iron Man" movies.

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The XOS 2

The suit, called the XOS 2, is a wearable robot that extends the user's endurance, strength, and agility, according to Raytheon Sarcos. The XOS 2 was constructed using a variety of sensors, controllers, and actuators, and lets the wearer comfortably lift at least 200 pounds dozens and dozens of times without getting fatigued. Another use could be to carry a man on the wearer's back. Yet the user would also easily be able to kick a soccer ball, climb stairs or ramps, or hit a speed bag.

The suit was built to assist soldiers, and Raytheon Sarcos estimates that the XOS 2 could be deployed in the field in as soon as five years.

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Clark with a projectile

Gregg shows how heavy this projectile is to a normal human. A person wearing the XOS 2 should be able to lift it much more easily.
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Clark examines XOS 2

Gregg examines the XOS 2.
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XOS 2 demo

At the Raytheon Sarcos facility in Salt Lake City, Rex Jameson, an engineer who worked on the XOS 2 program, demonstrates the exoskeleton.
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Breaking boards

XOS 2 test engineer Rex Jameson demonstrates the strength of the XOS 2 by, in this case, breaking four boards.
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Punching the bag

Despite its girth and its ability to give a wearer nearly superhuman strength, the XOS 2 also is said to give the user the agility to hit a punching bag with ease.
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Pushups in the XOS 2

Jameson demonstrates how easy it is to do push-ups while wearing the exoskeleton.
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Loading munitions

Although it could be at least five years before it is deployed to soldiers in the field, the XOS 2 was designed to assist those in combat. This is an artist's rendition of how the XOS 2 might be used to help soldiers with tasks like loading munitions.
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Loading missiles

Here, we see another artist's rendering of the XOS 2 in action, in this case helping aircraft carrier personnel load missiles.

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