Elon Musk hints he's working with the Department of Defense to build an armored suit for the military.
As reported by CNN recently, Elon Musk met privately with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, but what could have possibly been on the agenda for the Tesla and SpaceX CEO and the head of one of the world’s most advanced military agencies?
According to a mysterious tweet from Musk, Iron Man may have been the topic of discussion.
The tech superstar is known for big ideas. He is afterall the leader of one of the most innovative space travel companies with ambitions to put people on Mars and revolutionize transportation here on earth with his electric vehicles and support for Hyperloop technology. But creating a weapon system similar to the flying suit of armor portrayed in the Iron Man films seems like a deviation from his typical world-helping endeavors.
Yet as The Verge points out, Musk’s SpaceX has already begun working with the Department of Defense after becoming the first private spaceflight company to win a contract with the U.S. Air Force to deliver GPS satellites into orbit.
This follows a move by the Department of Defense to cozy up to and gain technological advances from innovators in Silicon Valley with the creation of a new advisory board earlier this year headed by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, according to The Verge.
While President Obama has joked about the military developing an Iron Man suit in the past, the idea is not so far fetched as one might think.
A number of media outlets have been tracking the U.S.military’s development of a hi-tech body armor suit known as TALOS (tactical light operator suit) that has been in the works for the last few years and may be ready as early as 2018.
This unofficial trailer of the TALOS armor suit hints at some of its capabilities.
According to Tech Insider, the TALOS functions as an exoskeleton powered by an internal battery. It gives the user significant protection from bullets, increased strength and is supported by a host of on-board computers that provide enhancements like 3D audio.
However it lacks Iron Man’s most famous ability — flight.
Though TALOS is far from the jet-propelled, laser beam-shooting suits imagined by Tony Stark, if Musk and his technological ambitions are involved, the TALOS suit could very well be the first generation of armored suits.
You might also like: Elon Musk Thinks We Might Be Characters in an Advanced Civilization's Video Game