British inventor Richard Browning has transformed himself into the real-life Iron Man. Just like the character Tony Stark, Browning makes himself hover in the air with only his jet-powered exosuit.
The 38-year-old real-life Iron Man, who works as an oil trader in Salisbury, spent 18 months in his garage experimenting on his exosuit, which consists of three sets of miniature jet engines latched on the arms and back. The exosuit can keep him up in the air for up to 10 minutes at a running speed of about 5 mph (8 km/h) and a height of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 m) above the ground. But Browning told Live Science that he's working on flying it for more than 60 mph (100 km/h) and to a height of about 330 feet (100 m). He admits that maneuvering the device requires physical strength and body coordination.
Instead of employing aluminum structures, gyros and computers, Browning capitalized on the human machine exerting the potential of the human body. He considered it not only a "useful structure" but also "very good at being trained to do specific things" and the human mind, which he said is "a pretty amazing machine." He plans to add a suspension mechanism to the exosuit as piloting it required upper-body strength. The real-life Iron Man used to be a Royal Marine reserve, runs ultra-marathons, cycles 120 km a week and performs calisthenics.
"The way you have to balance is pretty much the same stance Tony Stark has in the film," Browning told WIRED. He estimated spending about £40,000 to develop the exosuit, which he named after the Greek mythological figure Daedalus. While the real-life Iron Man admitted that his invention may still be "a long way away" to a full-on human flight, he believed that "one day you'll literally be able to walk around in your garden, take off, fly about, then come down low and land."