Engineers Bring Marvel Tech to Life
Erin Green posted on April 29, 2016 |
Grant Imahara kicks off project to recreate Captain America’s shield and Iron Man’s gauntlet.
Electronics expert Grant Imahara will take over Mouser's Innovation Lab for Project Heroes. (Image courtesy of Mouser Electronics.)

Electronics expert Grant Imahara will take over Mouser's Innovation Lab for Project Heroes. (Image courtesy of Mouser Electronics.)

Whether you dream of having your own flying Iron Man suit or covet the Captain America-themed Frisbees that the kids are playing with these days, you’ve probably come to a painful realization: superhero technology just doesn’t exist in our world.

But could it?

Just in time for the North American release of Captain America: Civil War on May 6, 2016, Marvel Studios has teamed up with Mouser Electronics to raise the hopes of fans everywhere by building real-life superhero technology.

 

Enter the Innovation Lab

The project to build some real-life Marvel tech is part of the Empowering Innovation Together program, a STEM-based initiative for inspiring engineers and students alike to create the next big thing.

The program will venture into several different projects, including popular subjects like space travel and driverless cars, all of which will go under the metaphorical microscope in the Innovation Lab.

For the opening act, Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame will be teaming up with Allen Pan, a YouTube personality and engineer specializing in superhero tech. Together, Imahara and Pan will build functioning versions of Captain America’s shield and Iron Man’s gauntlet and then, presumably, they will fight.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pan’s work, one of his projects was to build a replica of Thor’s Mjölnir using electromagnets and a fingerprint scanner—and then prank several apparently unworthy passersby with it by asking them to lift it.

 

Project Heroes: Drones and Lasers

Details about the actual builds are sparse at this point (episode two of the three-part series is pending), but there are two things that will certainly be involved: drones and lasers.

Stark’s gauntlet, which is famous for its flight-stabilizing repulsors, gained a powerful cutting laser in the second Iron Man film. According to the video, this is the feature that Imahara will focus on in this build. It isn’t clear whether any repulsors will be built, even just for fun.

Rogers’ shield, on the other hand, presents a different challenge. It will need to be capable of being thrown like a Frisbee and then ricocheting back to its owner like a boomerang. To solve this issue, Pan voiced a plan to start with a lightweight quadcopter and adapt it into the iconic circular shape.

The project will use a quadcopter as the skeleton for Captain America's iconic shield. (Image courtesy of Mouser Electronics.)
The project will use a quadcopter as the skeleton for Captain America's iconic shield. (Image courtesy of Mouser Electronics.)

It isn’t clear yet when we can expect the next instalment of the project, but one thing is for sure: Marvel fans will be waiting to see just how this technology comes to life in the real world.

And at the end of the day, it really comes down to one question:

Whose side are you on?

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