Having completed the welding he did not need to do, Tony flies home to a ledge atop Stark tower and lands. As he begins his strut to the interior, a complex, ring-shaped mechanism raises around him and follows along as he walks. From the ring, robotic arms extend to unharness each component of the suit from Tony in turn. After each arm precisely unscrews a component, it whisks it away for storage under the platform. It performs this task so smoothly and efficiently that Tony is able to maintain his walking stride throughout the 24-second walk up the ramp and maintain a conversation with JARVIS. His last steps on the ramp land on two plates that unharness his boots and lower them into the floor as Tony steps into his living room.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
This is exactly how a mechanized squire should work. It is fast, efficient, supports Tony in his task of getting unharnessed quickly and easily, and—perhaps most importantly—how we wants his transitions from superhero to playboy to feel: cool, effortless, and seamless. If there was a party happening inside, I would not be surprised to see a last robotic arm handing him a whiskey.
This is the Jetsons vision of coming home to one’s robotic castle writ beautifully.
There is a strategic question about removing the suit while still outside of the protection of the building itself. If a flying villain popped up over the edge of the building at about 75% of the unharnessing, Tony would be at a significant tactical disadvantage. But JARVIS is probably watching out for any threats to avoid this possibility.
Another improvement would be if it did not need a specific landing spot. If, say…
- The suit could just open to let him step out like a human-shaped elevator (this happens in a later model of the suit seen in The Avengers 2)
- The suit was composed of fully autonomous components and each could simply fly off of him to their storage (This kind of happens with Veronica later in The Avengers 2)
- If it was composed of self-assembling nanoparticles that flowed off of him, or, perhaps, reassembled into a tuxedo (If I understand correctly, this is kind-of how the suit currently works in the comic books.)
These would allow him to enact this same transition anywhere.
Your first two suggestions for improvement are also addressed in Iron Man 3 with a number of suits that open up and let him walk in and out freely, and one (the Mk42) that’s composed of individually powered components that can fly and respond to gestural commands. It’s my favourite of the series, I’d have to say, as suit tech goes. 🙂
Always loved this scene, very awesome design work. Enjoyed the read, thanks for posting!
The evolution of the suits in the movies is one of the highlights as they show a clear arc and reflect their creator’s desires and personality.
Mark 1 was the prototype. It was bulky, awkward, inefficient, and required a human to help put it on.
Mark 2 slimmed and streamlined the design, and replaced the human assistant with robots.
Mark 3 was a bugfix for the icing problem, and added flamboyant color to show off.
Mark 4 could be worn/removed more quickly while outside his home, but still with robotic assistance, which leads to…
Mark 5 which is portable, and can be donned without any outside assistance.
Mark 6 is another bugfix, this time for palladium poisoning, though it falls back on requiring robots to wear.
Mark 7 merges versions 5 and 6 and does away with the robots once and for all, making it ultraportable (in that it comes to him).
Marks 8-41 are mostly prototypes and variations on version 7, though there is a refinement that allows the suits to be autonomously controlled by Jarvis.
Mark 42 takes the ultraportability one step further which allows each portion of the suit to function on its own, rather than relying on Tony as the power source.
Each step is a clear iteration and step forward, often with a specific design goal.
Iron Man has always been one of my favorites. Great article.