Australian man builds a steel “Iron Man” suit in his backyard workshop to bring a smile to children in hospitals


Barry Armstead, an Australian father of four and Australian Army veteran, has spent roughly three to four years putting together an actual steel replica of the Iron Man MKIV suit, complete with glowing lights and a motorized face-plate.

He told ABC News that he came up with the idea while spending many hours in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Canberra Hospital after one of his children was born two months premature.

“We did spend quite a lot of time in the hospital and saw a bit of what was going on with the other kids around the place,” he said.

“If I can make kids smile, it’ll be mission accomplished.”

He came up with a cardboard prototype to get all the measurements right, and then worked his way into making a steel version.

Among the many electronic goodies, the suit is equipped with an arc reactor in the chest, an automated faceplate in the helmet with a lip-activated micro-switch that makes it go up and down; a wide-angle camera mounted between the eyes which displays on video glasses inside the faceplate, so he can get a wide-angle view don’t trip over kids in hospitals; and a voice-changing speaker set in the chest with a microphone in the chin of the helmet, so he can get a robotic voice.

The suit is made of steel sheets less than a millimeter thick and weighs roughly 88 lbs (37 kilograms) including the electronics, batteries, and padding. He says it’s not as heavy as it looks because the weight is distributed over his whole body, but it does restrict his mobility.

He’ll be appearing at the Starlight Foundation fund-raiser  at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome in Canberra, Australia.

All I need right now is a montage of him building the suit from scratch with a hammer, like in the second opening of the 90’s cartoon.

He uploaded some albums full of progress pictures to imgur, but mostly check this one and this one.

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