Military Develops Iron Man ExoskeletonvTHE SUPERHERO: Iron Man
THE SUPERPOWER: Iron Man's Mark IV/V suit of armor. It can fly, shoot repulsor blasts, comes with awesome helmet displays, communications gear, and is almost impenetrable.
This awesome exoskeleton, coined "Iron Man" by its developers, serves the purpose of increasing mobility and strength by basically using basic robotics to enhance/multiply whatever movement the soldier is making. This means that if you give a punch that would lightly bruise someone, the suit would make it so that the same punch would go through thick wood planks (as seen in this video), or someone's face (as not seen in this video).
This includes the ability to lift up rockets and rocket launchers as if they're shotguns, which means that we would be that much closer to developing real Mechs (that was the sound of 5,000 nerds – including myself – squealing).
Seeing the soldier in this video do pushups and lift things shows how this is about as mobile as Iron Man's cave-built suit, which (for real life) is actually pretty damn awesome.
Lifting extremely heavy munitions, food and other military supplies will be the primary function of this suit...at least for now.
The most interesting part about this whole thing is that it basically makes even the weakest soldier the strongest one on the field, due to the lack of effort needed to use the suit, as it is mainly a strength enhancement suit.
Mark my words, in 2030, Exoskeleton Baseball WILL be a sport.
Here's another, little more crazy version of this, showing that some people just don't get government grants for their research for a REASON: Link
Military Develops Batman Armor and HelmetvTHE SUPERHERO: Batman
THE SUPERPOWER: A ridiculously expensive suit that is not only bullet-proof, but extremely light, agile, comes with an insane amount of Terminator-like visual displays, and still allows people to run and flip around like an acrobat.
Inciting a pattern of military spending on superhero technology, here is the Air Force's gift to the Batman mythology: BATMAN, or Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided knowledge (I know, kind of a stretch, right?)
Besides the effort put into the name, the project is an attempt to modernize the gear commandos take with on combat missions, the overall aim being that the gear must be "lighter, smarter, deadlier," and more covert just like Batman's.
While a soldier usually has to carry 160 pounds of equipment, the BATMAN enhanced tech can decrease the payload and ensure more agility.
So like all that cool Batman electronic technology we see in the movies, the soldiers here have a small computer near their chests that tells them their logistical position and which tactics they can implement for any given situation.
That's right, it'll even include awesome communications gear, badass helmet displays, a headset (of course), and a computer (along with the ridiculous amount of batteries they'll need to keep these things rockin' on the battlefield.)
In case these new Dark Knights run out of juice, though, the suit also creates the option of refueling with the Bat Hook. A hook is thrown onto a power line and the hook slurps down power to keep BATMAN alert at all times.
If they could combine their technology with this awesome real-life utility belt that an MIT student created, they would be well on their way... Now, just to keep tabs on the richest men in the world who don't look turtles who've lost their shells.
The news report was unclear as to whether or not the suit would, in fact, be equipped with nipples.
Military Develops Spider-Man Gloves/BootsvTHE SUPERHERO: Spider-Man
THE SUPERPOWER: The power to walk up/climb walls via his hands and feet.
Engineers at Cornell University (in New York) have apparently invented a great palm-sized device that uses the surface tension in water to make a reverse-adhesive bond to stick to glass, wood, and brick.
They're getting close in transferring this to gloves and shoes to allow the bearer to climb up, Spider-Man style, the flattest of surfaces.
The technology was actually inspired by a Palmetto tortoise beetle in Florida that uses the surface tension from tiny, pore-sized droplets of secreted oil at the top of its legs to climb up and stick to surfaces.
So basically, they are looking to insect technology to make a Spider-Man type weapon/gadget; who would've thought, right?
They found, though, that the more holes they had, the stronger the suction got. These holes, if made even tinier (1000x the width of a human hair, to be exact) would have the suction power to hold an entire person.
But would they unstick? If the force is strong enough to hold a person, wouldn't you jerk back so hard that not only would you unstick, but fall off whatever building you were climbing? Well, no, because the scientists were actually able to use that electrical field to reverse the suction, thus becoming unstuck on demand. Just like Spider-Man.
Start stitching your suits, guys. Start stitching your suits.
The gloves would work by using an electrical field to pump small amounts of water through microscopic holes.
High School student invents suction technology using vacuums
Guy dressed as Spider-Man climbs skyscraper with his bare hands.
The famous French "Spiderman" (hyphen is never used when referring to him for some reason) who wears no costume, but climbs insanely high buildings with just his hands.
Qijong Master Can Create Heat with HandsvTHE SUPERHERO: The Human Torch (or hey, Carrie also works)
THE SUPERPOWER: Controlling heat/fire and emitting it at will, aka Pyrokinesis.
THE REAL-LIFE SUPERPOWER/ABILITY:
A Qigong Master uses his Chi energy to create heat using minimal friction, and is actually able to steam water using his hand without even touching it. He uses heat healing to help people with back problems.
Using an infrared camera, "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" shows the man's hands directly applying heat to objects using nothing but his bare hands. He can increase and decrease the heat of water, or any moist object, at will. He was able to, using only his hand, generate heat of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
He can heat a water on a damp towel to 10 degrees below boiling point, and actually walk on suspended sheets of paper without breaking them because, according to him, he makes himself lighter by focusing his energy.
Child's Rare Genetic Condition Causes Hulk-like Super StrengthTHE SUPERHERO: The Hulk
THE SUPERPOWER: Super strength, impenetrability via genetic mutation.
THE REAL-LIFE SUPERPOWER:
Click here for the news report on this child and the genetic condition that gives him super strength.
Click here for a great video of the child exhibiting his strength (3rd video down).
A rare genetic condition is giving 3-year-old Liam Hoekstra, Michigan, the ability to eat like a horse and not gain any weight whatsoever, lift large furniture that most adults would have trouble lifting, and increase in muscle strength by just living out his normal life. At 3 years old. He's a toddler.
His condition was first suspected when he (no foolin' here) was able to walk at an early age... Just how early? Two days. The child was able to walk after only two days of life.
He can also do the Olympic move called the Iron Cross where they hold themselves up with only their hands.
The genetic disease/condition that the kid has is called Myostatin-Related Muscle Hypertrophy. There have only been 100 cases of this in the world.
There's a defect in his genetic code that allows for excessive muscle growth. So the defect blocks the antibody that usually inhibits muscle growth in the human body, so it's almost a double-negative situation in which the disease blocks the blocker, therefore giving the child incredible muscle strength.
There are no medical downsides and his heart will be unaffected. The only downside is that he eats six enormous meals a day. He also has a six pack, without even really working out, and looks otherwise no different from other children: his muscles are just that much stronger.
Look at those guns!
So medically, if they were able to replicate this condition, it would be open to abuse by athletes, but also open for extremely important use by people with diseases like muscular dystrophy.
Real Life Daredevil Sees Using Only SoundvTHE SUPERHERO: Daredevil
THE SUPERPOWER: Sees using only sound, and can therefore "see" better than anyone. Peak physical strength and enhanced hearing, and an insane ability in acrobatics.
THE REAL-LIFE SUPERPOWER:
Ben Underwood is a blind boy whose eyes were removed (he lost them to cancer) when he was three, leaving him with absolutely no vision at all.
He can play video games, he can shoot a great game of basketball, he rides his bike around town (Sacramento, California) and even rollerblades every now and then. He can also find objects around the house for his mom.
Ben uses many aides for the blind, such as a braille keyboard and sound software to use computers. But according to this report, it's what he doesn't use that makes him remarkable. He doesn't use a seeing eye dog, or even a cane. He emits a moderately loud click with his mouth wherever he goes, which allows him to use the bouncing off of the sound to "hear" his surroundings. He can "see" walls, couches, desks, stairs, and anything else around him. This allows him to move around like someone who could see. This isn't "easy," or even possible for normal people.
He is the only person in the world who "sees" using only echo-location, kind of like a bat.
Check out the video for a 10-minute feature on Ben, and his incredible abilities. Now all he needs to do is become a lawyer (like the Daredevil in the comics), and make sure the Ben Affleck doesn't get the rights to his life story.
Skin Can Conduct Electricity Like ElectroSUPERHERO: Electro (alright, so he's a supervillain, but he's a little more recognizable than Black Lightning and Static Shock).
THE POWER: His skin/body can not only absorb electricity, but can conduct it as well.
THE REAL-LIFE POWER:
According to the Beijing Sci-Tech Report, a man named Ma Xiangang can fix electrical circuits by using his bare hands. He doesn't wear any safeguards, gloves, or coat his hands in anything. They say, "he can hold a positive wire in one hand and a negative wire in the other and a bulb will light up."
Of course, anybody could do this with enough electricity, but they would most likely die, or at least convulse.
Like most superheroes, he discovered his power due to an accident, when he saw that the television he was watching with his wife broke. He went outside to check on the wiring and found a broken wire that he started picking at, touching and twisting it. After he pulled on the wire for a while, he realized that the line was actually live and could have shocked him severely. Knowing this wasn't normal, he boldly touched the power line harder...and he was still not affected.
Apparently, he can bear 220volts without any damage to his body, which is incredible.
His powers stem from his horribly, horribly dry skin. Apparently, his hands are much rougher and drier than a normal person's, which allows his skin to act like a pair of insulated gloves. His rough, thick skin prevents most of the electricity from entering his body, which means that what does get through, he absorbs and passes it through a part of his body.
After learning of his power, he became addicted to touching electricity and learning how to control the voltage passing through his body.
He now uses his "super power" to conduct electrotherapy and massages.
Source 1 Source 2
Can Attract Metal, Like a MagnetvTHE SUPERHERO: Magneto (who is more of a villain most of the time.)
THE SUPERPOWER: To attract, control, and stick to metal. Magneto is the master of magnetism and can manipulate metal at will.
THE REAL LIFE SUPERPOWER:
73-year-old Liew Tho Lin of Malaysia has been able to magnetize his skin for the past 10 years. He noticed his ability while working in construction, and his tools started sticking to him while he was shirtless.
Sort of like the moisture-induced suction of the Spider-Man contraption, Liew Tho's skin has an extra suction property to it that helps metal and other objects stick to his skin.
He can also pull a one-ton car using an iron suctioned to his stomach, which adds extra coolness to his ability.
His powers are "not an illusion," scientists said when trying to investigate into Liew Thow's body ability, and while his abilities definitely seem magnetic, they're actually a suction-based nature.
Click here for the full story and additional pictures of Liew Thow Lin showing off his powers.
Invisibility CloaksvTHE SUPERHERO: The Invisible Woman (or the Predator, from the movies or hey, even Harry Potter)
THE SUPERPOWER: Invisibility
THE REAL-LIFE TECHNOLOGY:
Scientists in Tokyo University, Japan, have invented a coat which makes those wearing it appear "invisible." The coat is made with a special type of "retro-reflective material" that acts as a photographic screen. A camera exists behind the person who is wearing the coat, and that camera reflects onto the coat so that the wearer appears transparent.
Check out the video to see it in action.
Before it's "turned on," it looks like a normal grey windbreaker. The practical application of this? Well, other than being mindblowingly, face-meltingly awesome, it is actually to help surgeons see patient's bodies all the way through, so that they can analyze every single part, never missing a tumor, or what they can't see behind organs normally.
This can also be used by pilots to make the floors of their planes appear transparent to help them land...which if they did that to the entire plane, it would be Wonder Woman technology.
More recently, US and UK scientists have developed a technology that bring us one step closer to something that is less like the moderate invisibility invented by the Japanese and more like TRUE invisibility, but don't get your Hollow-Manesque fantasies rockin' just yet, this wouldn't hit the market for YEARS.
Here's the report:
"Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used their cloak, made using photonic crystals with a structure resembling piles of wood, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface, they wrote in Science.
"'It's kind of like hiding a small object underneath a carpet--except this time the carpet also disappears,' they said.
"'We put an object under a microscopic structure, a little like a reflective carpet,' said Nicholas Stenger, one of the researchers who worked on the project.
"'When we looked at it through a lens and did spectroscopy, no matter what angle we looked at the object from, we saw nothing. The bump became invisible,' said Stenger.
"The 'cloak' they used to make the microscopic bump disappear was composed of special lenses that work by bending light waves to suppress light as it scattered from the bump, the study says.
"The invisibility cloak was minute, measuring 100 microns by 30 microns -- one micron being one-thousandth of a millimeter -- and the bump it hid was 10 times smaller, said Stenger.
"The researchers are working now to recreate the disappearing bump but on a larger scale, but Stenger said Harry Potter's invisibility cloak would not be hanging in would-be wizards' wardrobes in the near future.
"'Theoretically, it would be possible to do this on a large scale but technically, it's totally impossible with the knowledge we have now,' he said."
(via Discovery News)
Jet-Man Invents a Working JetpackvTHE SUPERHERO: The Rocketeer, or the main character in the popular indie comic Ex Machina.
THE SUPERPOWER: Flight via Jetpack
THE REAL-LIFE TECHNOLOGY:
A man named Yves Rossi claims to be a huge Batman fan, and was actually inspired by Batman (because if there's something everyone attributes to Batman, it's flying around in a jetpack). He uses his invention to fly relatively long distances for up to six minutes, and can hit speeds of up to 160 mph.
According to this article on MSNBC, the only problem/stagnation in the development of true Jet-Pack technology is the insane amount of fuel that it would need. In order to truly lift up a human from the ground, you would need so much power that in order to make a long trip that would be worth it, you would need hundreds of gallons of gasoline–which kind of defeats the purpose since you'd need to carry something that carries those...which would be enormous or, let's say, the size of an, I don't know...PLANE.
Why Jetpacks don't work yet.
Here's an example of another Jetpack that isn't as cool, but can take off from the ground, and can take an average-sized person 30 miles in 30 minutes on only five gallons of gasoline: Ground Take-Off Jet-Pack