Iron Penguin: First open-source "Iron Man" suit within reach?

Iron Penguin: First open-source "Iron Man" suit within reach?

Summary: Building on the ground-breaking work of billionaire genius Tony Stark, the first Linux-powered Iron Man suits may soon be within the reach of homebrew builders.


Even before Tony Stark, billionaire technology genius, revealed that he was Iron Man in 2008, others were trying to build augmented fighting suits. Now that Stark has shown that Iron Man technology was within the reach of homebrew builders, work has started on the first open-source augmented fighting suits.

Iron Man
You, too, may be able to build your own Iron Man suits in the comfort of your own mansion soon. (Image: Paramount Pictures/Marvel Enterprises)

This is, of course, work that only the most advanced homebrew inventors will want to try. As the failures of Armand Hammer, Ivan Vanko, and Microsoft with Armor 8 have shown, it's not easy to build your own armor (BYOA). 

Still, with promising work with the integration of Google Glass, the Parallela supercomputer board, and Raspberry Pi, the first steps to Linux-powered fighting armor suits are being taken. It's rumored that Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, is working on a Iron Penguin, a powered diving suit, to go with his Subsuface diving log program.

Of course, not everyone likes the idea of open-sourced armor. ZDNet writer Jason Perlow worried that such suits could be hacked for evil. As he said of Google Glass: "'Evil Glass' may include all the software necessary to turn a 14-year-old into a walking stealth surveillance device that would have been the envy of the Mossad or China's Ministry of State Security." Now imagine what that same 14-year old could do with repulser rays and rockets.

It may be a while yet before armored penguin-suited developers are patrolling the skies of Silicon Valley. Two major technology problems remain to be solved.

First, power sufficient to enable such suits for more than a few seconds still require Stark Industry proprietary arc reactor technology. While some have suggested that the Tesseract, aka the Cosmic Cube, could be reverse-engineered for a power source, it's known that the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (SHIELD) discourages any such research. 

In addition, no current publicly available artificial intelligence (AI) technology can match with Stark's Just A Rather Very Intelligent System (JARVIS), which is required for wear and run such suits. Still, open-source developers have shown that they're up to any challenge, and we soon hope to see the first Linux-enabled Iron Penguin kits. 

With a tip of the hat to Jillian Scharr, whose story on how real-world media would cover Tony Stark/Iron Man inspired this piece. 

Topics: After Hours, Hardware, Linux, Open Source

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  • Hmmmmm....

    Oy Gevalt....... >;- /
  • That would be cool

    Imagine technology like that (even remotely related) serving the human kind!?
  • humor doesn't work for you SJVN

    Stick to bagging Microsoft
    • I was trying to figure out....

      Why the potshot at Microsoft, "Microsoft Armor 8"? I did a quick search and found nothing....maybe that's why he didn't provide a link because he pulled it from his deification area.
  • April fools?

    This one had me going for a moment.
    John L. Ries
  • ironman

    Penguin ironman: parts came from various groups. Each group busy arguing their parts are the best. Every year penguin ironman will claim he will soar

    Windows ironman: constantly attacked by his enemy, mr virus n captain malware. Require tons of windows update fuel to work. Has been known to fall off the sky when he reboots !

    Apple iroman: this model has all the bells and shiny armour. Even mr stark has no idea how his armour works ! Whenever he needs repair he will interface with his mechanic, mr apple genius !
    • Even then...

      Things get worked out - like the supercomputer market linux has completely dominated.

      Windows shows up briefly, but suddenly shuts down half the capability due to a activation error, a licensing misidentification, or certificate expiration...

      Apple doesn't even bother trying.
  • The obligatory XKCD entry.

    As raspberry PI systems are already in action, sailing the seas, flying, ...
  • *Repulsor

    Comic book spelling nazi says, "no armor for you"
    • Yes, spelling indeed...

      Your country did not invent the language, they just contribute to its decay. What a legacy for future generations.

      Armour it is.
      Kieron Seymour-Howell
      • hmm..... ignorant....

        If it bothers you so much then don't read an American publication.....
      • As a matter of fact.

        As a matter of fact. Try to avoid anything that "Our country". Has created with our bastardized English. You won't get very far in life or will be at least unhappy with it. LOL
  • SJVN has finaly lost it

    its OK...its OK....this year will be the year of Linux
    • Xenon8...actually isn't the year of Surface RT hits a 1,000 sales

      thats what Loverock Davidson, Ye, Willie Ferret, Owllllnet1 and Toddbottom3 are claiming these days.......

      End Of Story.....Period
      Over and Out
  • Thouroughly entertaining and enjoyable article!

    Thank you SJVN! I was highly entertained and I clicked many of your links.

    Do not listen to the plebes who are clearly envious of your wit. They belie their emotion with their whining petulant quips.

    I look forward to more such entertaining articles.
    Kieron Seymour-Howell
  • So SJVN wants to be an Iron Penguin?

    Here's the formula:

    1. Get in good shape (actually, very good shape)
    2. Buy a penguin T-shirt from The Linux Foundation's online store
    3. Enter in the IRONMAN triathlon and wear your penguin T-shirt (you do have to finish the race)

    Hey, perhaps LinuxCon should sponsor a 10k race. This would be a start.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Iron Man IV

    I guess we know now how Tony Stark will return for Iron Man IV.
    Lauren Glenn