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By Eric Lieberman

U.S. Special Operations Command expects the first prototype of an “Iron Man” suit to be fully constructed by the end of 2018, according to a DefenseNews report published Thursday.

“It’s getting very real right now,” Col. James Miller, the director of the Joint Acquisition Task Force for the specific technology, said Wednesday at a conference. “We are putting a human inside of a robot, [which] has to emulate the human itself.”

While it’s colloquially referred to as an “Iron Man” suit, the armored exoskeleton is formally known as Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). The U.S. Special Operations Command has reportedly been experimenting with its development for four years. Roughly 35 vendors, and scientific and academic institutions are studying the engineering of such a nascent invention.

“We are going to start building parts and snapping them together,” Miller continued, adding that the product must have safety and utility, according to Defense News.

Developers want to make the suit extremely light for easy maneuvering, while still providing fortified protection — what Miller calls “kinematically seamless with the body.”

To make it as portable, impenetrable, and cost-efficient as possible, the 800-part suit will be mostly made of carbon fiber plastics, a material Miller says is known to be strong, but not too cumbersome. The prototype though will be made of titanium. (RELATED: Robot Falconry Is The New Way To Fend Off Birds Near Airports [VIDEO])

Not everyone is excited about the prospect of U.S. military using (or wearing) technology akin to the Marvel comic superhero Iron Man.

TALOS was featured in former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn’s tongue-in-cheek “wastebook,” which details dozens of federal programs he considers absurdly needless.

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