Introduction – Montage of video clips of the Great Orbax. Orbax is middle aged, bald with a ponytail at the back. A long curling moustache and a goatee. He is wearing a 3-piece grey plaid suit, with a lab coat, sometimes old motorcycle goggles. He is situated in a Physics lab at the University of Guelph and speaks directly into the camera.
[Orbax is on screen wearing an Iron Man mask,]
“Is Iron Man tech even a thing?” is said and appears in text on screen.
[Reel or UnReal logo appears]
[Orbax is in his lab, an Iron man mask and an Iron Man figurine sit to either side of him on his lab table:]
“First appearing in Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963, Iron Man was the first movie to launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008.”
[Clips from the Iron Man movie play with Iron Man flying and landing on the ground.]
[Orbax on screen, combined with black and white images of scientists in the 60s and video footage of a man inside an exoskeleton. Images of mech suits and Iron Man:]
“Powered exoskeletons have existed since the 1960s. The first fully fledged powered exoskeleton was created by G.E. and dubbed Hardiman was able to lift 350 kilograms but actually came in at a weight of about double that. Since then exoskeletons have gotten bigger, faster, stronger but they’ve definitely gone more of the mech than the slick design of the Iron Man suit.”
[Orbax VO with video footage of juggernaut Prosthesis:]
“For the king of all exosuits, make sure you check out the Canadian built juggernaut Prosthesis.”
[Orbax on screen:]
“So how far away are we from the reality of an actual Iron Man suit?
Some of the technology exists already heads up displays like the ones that Tony Stark uses to control the Iron Man suit have actually been used in military applications since World War Two, and they’re becoming more and more common, placed in cars and trucks these days.
[Orbax closes Iron Man face mask]
Ouch. Iron Man signature palm thrusters have actually been fabricated out in the real world.”
[Orbax VO with images and video of Richard Browning, flying in his jet suit, images of his father:]
“Ex-Royal Marine Richard Browning is the founder and one of the test pilots of Gravity Industries. Richard comes from a long line of inventors, just like Tony Stark. His grandfather ran a helicopter manufacturing design company, and his father was an inventor, designer, and an aeronautical engineer.
Richard has designed and built a jet suit that flies is using arm mounted jet turbines and has actually netted himself the Guinness World Records title for the fastest, speed in a body-controlled jet engine powered suit at 136.9 kilometers per hour.”
[Orbax on screen, combined with more footage of Richard flying:]
“By shifting the positions of his arms or vectoring, Richard’s actually able to control his suit in much the same way that Tony Stark controls the Iron Man suit. He receives readouts in the Heads Up display on his helmet, and the suit itself can actually achieve altitudes of almost 12,000 feet!
The major difference between Richard’s suit and the Iron Man suit is that Richard’s suit runs on jet fuel. Well, that and Richard’s suit actually has an aeronautically stable way of flying horizontally.
How realistic is the Iron Man power supply?”
[Orbax on screen, combined with clips from the Iron Man movies:]
“Well, Iron Μan runs off the Arc reactor, which not only powers his suit, but the large electromagnetic fields actually keep shrapnel from entering his heart.
This part at least is correct. Huge magnetic fields that would be required to run an Arc Reactor would not only keep shrapnel from going into your heart, but also wipe your credit cards and degauss your cell phone at the same time. The imaginary Arc Reactor is a type of fusion reactor.”
[Orbax on screen, combined with scientific drawings of a fission reactor, fission vs fusion diagram:]
“Now, when you probably think about nuclear power supplies, you think of fission. In fission we split apart heavy nuclei like uranium or plutonium, and in doing so, release energy. Fusion is a totally different kind of nuclear reaction.
One where instead of splitting big atoms, we actually fuze smaller nuclei like hydrogen or helium, and we get energy released via that method. Now that’s great, right? There’s hydrogen everywhere.”
[Orbax on screen, combined with video of the Sun’s core, black and white images of the first fusion reactor, images of the tokamak, video of molecules]:
“And then you don’t actually have to deal with some of these bigger elements like uranium or plutonium. Now fusion is actually the same kind of reaction that powers the sun. We’ve been building fusion reactors here on Earth since 1958. Visually, the design isn’t that far off of the Arc Reactor for Iron Man.
There’s a design, a fusion reactor called a tokamak, and a tokamak uses these incredibly strong electromagnetic fields to bind the super-hot plasma of the fusion reactor into a toroidal shape.
Now there’s only one problem; tokamaks are about 20 feet in diameter. And there’s another problem; they create so much heat they’d probably actually cook Tony Stark immediately. Well, then I guess the last big problem is that they don’t actually work. Well, they work, but not in the way that you’d expect in terms of energy production. But let me explain.”
[Orbax on screen with images and video clips of different fusion reactors, video of the sun:]
“The way it’s been since 1958 for the last sixty years, is that it takes more energy to produce the fusion reaction that we actually get out of the fusion reaction in return. This is because there’s a huge energy cost associated with generating those large electromagnetic fields that we use to bind and create that super-hot plasma.
And as a result, no fusion reactor has ever given us more energy than we’ve put into it.
It works on the sun because the sun uses its massive size and the gravity associated with that to actually kind of cheat a little bit and to help with that fusion reaction of squeezing together those hydrogen atoms.”
[Orbax on screen, along with video of the earth from space:]
“But we just can’t do that here on Earth, or at least not yet. Theoretically, a net positive fusion reactor is achievable, and it’s the goal and vision of research groups across the world to make this a reality. And it should they do that; it will be the dawning of a new age and one of the cleanest forms of energy production that we could ever hope to achieve.
[Orbax on screen with footage from the Iron Man movie:] “So while many of the elements of a functional Iron Man suit exists, we’re still a long way off of putting them together and even powering them.
But that doesn’t mean that somewhere out there in some alternate universe, there isn’t a version of Tony Stark strangely flying horizontally around the world with a suit whose power supply doesn’t obey the laws of physics.”