Inventing Iron Man Kindle ä Inventing Iron PDF/EPUB


Inventing Iron Man Tony Stark has been battling bad guys and protecting innocent civilians since he first donned his mechanized armor in the 1963 debut of Iron Man in Marvel Comics Over the years Stark's suit has allowed him to smash through walls fly through the air like a human jet control a bewildering array of weaponry by thought and perform an uncountable number of other fantastic feats The man who showed us all what it would take to become Batman probes whether science and humankind is up to the task of inventing a real life Iron ManE Paul Zehr physically deconstructs Iron Man to find out how we could use modern day technology to create a suit of armor similar to the one Stark made Applying scientific principles and an incredibly creative mind to the uestion Zehr looks at how Iron Man's suit allows Stark to become a superhero He discusses the mind boggling and body straining feats Iron Man performed to defeat villains like Crimson Dynamo Iron Monger and Whiplash and how such acts would play out in the real world Zehr finds that science is nearing the point where a suit like Iron Man's could be made But superherodom is not just about technology and Zehr also discusses our own physical limitations and asks whether or not an extremely well conditioned person could use Iron Man's armor and do what he doesA scientifically sound look at brain machine interfaces and the outer limits where neuroscience and neural plasticity meet Inventing Iron Man is a fun direct and parallel comparison of comic book science fiction with modern science If you've ever wondered whether you have what it takes to be the ultimate human machine hero then this book is for you This wasn't nearly as engaging as Zehr's previous book Becoming Batman The focus is primarily on the function of neurons and how they work with muscles I had been hoping for a little engineering and physics and a little less neuroscience It wasn't bad just not the book I wanted it to be It still gave me a lot to think about trying to work out practical Iron Man concepts that reuire fewer of what James Kakalios calls miracle exceptionsI felt a little too much time was given to what felt like first year science lessons in anatomy and biology I didn't need to know the details of how a neuron works to get why motor neurons are something to look at for our theoretical robot suit As the title suggests this book examines whether Iron Man could exist in the real world As with Michio Kaku’s book Physics of the Impossible answering the uestion involves defining the various meanings of “impossible” One way to parse the uestion is “Is Iron Man possible today given the existing state of technology?” In and of itself this uestion is of limited interest because the answer is “no” There’s certainly a demand and so if Iron Man could exist given current technology he probably would That’s not to say it isn’t interesting to learn about what technologies are holding us back and where the cutting edge of relevant technologies lies—both of which are addressed by the book Still a interesting inuiry is “Will Iron Man ever be reality given the physical laws that we know to govern the universe?” While intriguing it’s also a harder uestion to definitively answer It’s impossible to foresee all the technological developments that might come along to answer the seemingly insurmountable challenges eg Tony Stark’s inevitable Traumatic Brain Injury TBI The book deals with the critical uestion of what challenges would have to be overcome for Iron Man to be reality As Zehr suggests the appeal of Iron Man is that he’s considered to be among superheroes for the common man Like Batman the sufficiently bright and diligent nerd may fantasize that “That could be me” You or I can’t be Superman or Wolverine but given enough money smarts and training we could be Batman or—even better—pilot the Iron Man suit Put in this light the book may seem like just another frivolous attempt to capitalize on the popularity of superheroes to sell books However there’s actually a great deal of food for thought packed in the book Like others I read the book because its title is Inventing Iron Man and not Neuro motor control of a self propelled armor system or some other suitably scholarly title Dr Zehr has the bona fides to delve into this topic He is a Professor who investigates uestions of how the nervous system controls movement That subject may not constitute the sum total of critical concerns but it’s one of the most important challenges For Iron Man to move the way he does in the movies and comic books Tony Stark’s impulses to move have to be transmitted seamlessly to the servo motors that move the suit From dodging Col Rhodes’ ie War Machine’s punches to ducking RPGs Stark can’t be uick enough if he has to manually steer the device Then of course there’s the issue of feedback Any neophyte meditator who’s had his or her foot fall sound asleep will know how difficult it is to walk surefootedly when one can’t feel anything through one’s foot Iron Man 3 spoiler commentary in this paragraph One of the most damning challenges for making Iron Man a reality is the high probability of severe concussions Let’s say you make the suit out of a material that is virtually indestructible? This may be possible However the pilot’s mushy brain is still sloshing around inside that impenetrable armor One can remotely pilot the suit in order to negate this as has been done in the comic books and the third movie but—at that point—is it still Iron Man? I know from a writer’s perspective it’s a lot harder to maintain tension if there’s nothing human on the line In the third movie about 30 autonomously piloted suits get wiped out and the viewer doesn’t care—the only source of tension is that Tony Stark is without armor half the time Some of the most interesting discussions are about where the current state of the art lies with respect to a direct mind control over mechanical systems; b a “flying suit”; and c robotic movement enhancers Zehr conducts interviews with those engineers and technologists involved in such technologies and finds out where we are presently Letter “a” above seems to be the least developed of the three technologies but they are all active lines of research I enjoyed this book and found it interesting I think anyone who is interested in the state of technology and its limits will find it a nice pop sci introduction to the subject The use of superheroes as a pedagogic device may be overdone but it continues to work because we are fascinated by the edge of possibility and that’s what superheroes represent When reading superhero comics or watching movies about the such it is very likely to uestion whether their feats or abilities were able to exist in the real world While a real life Superman may be uite far fetched the existence of Iron Man actually seems feasible given the technology currently available to us This book makes a brilliant scientific evaluation of the engineering necessary to build an Iron Man armor It also analyzes the effects of such an exoskeleton on human anatomy and physiology Initially the book discusses the normal structure and function of the human skeletal muscular and nervous systems and how these would be affected by the introduction of a mechanical exoskeleton such as the Iron Man armor It then goes on to elaborate on the applications and implications of having such a system controlled directly by the nervous system while illustrating potential decay of the human body inside the armor after extended use At the same time present day technologies including exoskeletons and prostheses are showcased throughout the book with regards to their function and possible applications within an Iron Man armor The book also delves into the amount of time and resources needed for development of Iron Man I personally enjoyed this book a great deal It evaluated the engineering behind Iron Man in immense depth while still leading the reader to ask him or herself further uestions It is also uite fascinating as it showcases clear impossibilities with regards to Iron Man's technology while at the same showing how close we really are to developing such a system I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in engineering or anatomy or who simply likes Iron Man I picked up the book expecting to read about the amazing technology that goes into the making of the brilliantly engineered suit that we call Iron Man expecting explanations of all the sophisticated tech that would have went into the marvel that Tony Stark has createdBut it turned out to be something different Actually like what the title suggests Written by a neuro scientist you can guess what the content would be like It revolves a lot around the current state of prosthetics the science of brain and its control of the body the physical and psychological training needed for piloting such a suit the deteriorating impact that would be caused by itIf you are looking for the tech only part this might not be the right choice But if you want to delve into above areas mentioned areas it is a good read If I've to give you one good reason to read this one it definitely has to be the perspective it gives you on the state of modern day science and tech how much effort that would go into making of a superhero marvel like Iron Man if at all we could someday achieve it

  • Kindle Edition
  • 224 pages
  • Inventing Iron Man
  • E. Paul Zehr
  • English
  • 06 March 2015

About the Author: E. Paul Zehr

Black Belt Brain at Psychology Today Magazine and my guest blogs on the science of superheroes over at


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