In spite of it being one of our most-anticipated movies of 2013, we wound up having mixed feelings about Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. The high expectations set by District 9 were certainly part of it, but overall Elysium just didn’t soar as high as we’d hoped. But one area that was unquestionably badass? The exoskeletons sported by Matt Damon’s Max and Sharlto Copley’s Kruger. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to think so, as YouTuber The Hacksmith is in the process of building his own powered exoskeleton, and it just passed the impressive test of easily curling 170 pounds. Check it out up top, and here’s a tech featurette from Elysium for comparison’s sake.
You probably noticed that the dude is also sporting a Tony Stark-style arc reactor replica on his chest. I do love his explanation: “An Iron Man suit is the end goal someday, so, you know, might as well start early.” I like the cut of your jib, buddy. I expect to see functional repulsor technology from you by no later than 2018.
As for the Elysium suit itself, it’s obviously not quite as slick or functional as the versions in Blomkamp’s movie, but it’s still pretty cool. And there’s no debating the fact that it works as promised. Moreover, that’s just the top half — the self-proclaimed Hacksmith is also working on the lower half, which will theoretically remove the problem of getting the 170 pounds up off the ground so the upper exoskeleton can lift it. In the meantime, he’s having to rely on a spotter and his own imperiled back.
We’ve seen this sort of tech being developed by corporations and governments, so it’s pretty sweet to see somebody cobbling together a version in their backyard. Even more impressive is his claim that, with a new compressor, his suit will be able lift twice as much. If you’re interested in a deeper dive into the Hacksmith’s process, there are tons more videos on his YouTube channel and website, and the Elysium exoskeleton isn’t his only project. Personally, I’m kind of in love with the sheer silliness of his “Will It Laser?” videos…