The Makers of Iron Man

A Maker by the name of Ryan Brooks – aka “the real Tony Stark” – has created a slick 3D-printed, nod-receptive Iron Man helmet.

According to Terry Chao of DVICE, an Atmel-powered Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168) and an Adafruit accelerometer allows the helmet’s faceplate to open and close based on which way the wearer nods.

“By nodding backwards, the faceplate seamlessly opens and locks into place, while nodding with a forward motion will close it. Brooks is currently selling iterations of his servo mechanism on his website, starting at $150,” wrote Chao. “Because the helmet’s base is tapered towards the bottom by design, Brooks made it possible to keep the shape of the original helmet through reticulating back neck flaps that allow the wearer to comfortably put it on.”

Brooks also equipped the helmet with some “Jarvis” voice action to inform the user if it is booted up and ready, along with appropriate air lock and “whoosh” sound effects when the faceplate opens and closes. Meanwhile, light blockers are tasked with protecting the wearer’s eyes from the bright LEDs in the mask.

Of course, this isn’t the first Iron Man project Bits & Pieces has covered. Back in September, we reported how a Maker by the name of Thomas Lemieux turned numerous heads when he showcased his rather impressive Iron Man suit at the 2013 World Maker Faire in NYC.

“Everything is Arduino powered. There are four Arduino UNOs (ATmega328) in the suit; one for each bionic replusor, one for the sound board, and one for the arc reactor. All of the components are powered by ten 2600 mAh batteries that had to be ordered from Hong Kong,” Lemieux told Electronic Design. “The sound components for each repulsor and the sound board are wave shields from Adafruit. The SD cards with all of the sound files are located there.”

According to Lemieux, the project actually began with the arc reactor.

“I wanted one to sit on my desk at home and thought it would be cool to build one myself. So I walked the aisles at Home Depot and found any part that would seem to work,” he explained.

“The fins are cut from a solid sheet of metal and I used copper coils to bend around them. I used a sink tap as the center piece. And the rest is washers, rubber tubing and erector set pieces all J-B welded together. I got all of the electronics and LEDs from Radio Shack.”

Lemieux also told Electronic Design that the biggest challenge in designing the suit was fitting all the electronics into such a constrained space.

“It was very much trial and error… I started building on May 2nd, spending about four hours a day plus many all-nighters.”

Lemieux says his next suit will be more streamlined and easier to assemble.

“I also want to make Ultron. I have some great ideas on lighting his face up,” he added.

3 thoughts on “The Makers of Iron Man

  1. Pingback: Video: Iron Man Mark III project goes live | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. rifka

    “Everything is Arduino powered. There are four Arduino UNOs (ATmega328) in the suit; one for each bionic replusor, one for the sound board, and one for the arc reactor. All of the components are powered by ten 2600 mAh batteries that had to be ordered from Hong Kong,” Lemieux told Electronic Design. “The sound components for each repulsor and the sound board are wave shields from Adafruit. The SD cards with all of the sound files are located there.”

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