Meet the Man Who's Building a Pop Culture-Inspired Strength Suit


A lot of people wish they could be a superhero, but one man is actually going the extra mile to make his dream a reality. Inspired by the film Elysium (2013), the comic book character Iron Man, and the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, prop builder and “hacksmith” James Hobson began developing an exoskeleton that would allow him to lift a ton more weight than any normal human being.

As Hobson told Barcroft TV in the video profile above, the project started with an invention for his arms based on a concept from Elysium. The wearable device featured pneumatic pumps that allowed Hobson to curl 170 pounds with ease. The next step was to build a similar structure for his lower half, adding an industrial air compressor to his back and larger pumps to his legs, giving him the power to lift up to 1600 pounds, or, as you'll see in the video, the back half of a Mini Cooper.

Following the car lift and subsequent press exposure, Hobson took to his YouTube channel to provide updates and answer questions about the project. In addition to a few modifications to the design like hip joints to make turning easier, Hobson also plans to address the compressor which gets hot mere inches from his back. In the update, the real-life Tony Stark also took the time to thank Robert Downey Jr. (a.k.a. Iron Man) and Stan Lee for sharing his project on their respective Facebook pages.

Hobson hopes to crowdfund further development of the suit, but also sees a greater reach for the design far beyond superhero aspirations. "I see there being a lot of potential for exoskeletons in the future," he says. "Whether it's for medical use, military, or search and rescue, or even construction. Having an exoskeleton could allow human workers to be able to do the job that machines or robots are able to do."

Check out Hobson’s channel for more updates on this and other amazing builds.

Images via YouTube // Bancroft TV.

[h/t Barcroft TV]