NVIDIA Jetson Powers Real-Time Iron Man HUD

If you could recreate any of the capabilities of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit in real life, it would probably be the ability to fly, the super strength, or maybe even the palm-mounted lasers that can cut through whatever obstacle is in your path. But let’s be real, all that stuff is way too hard to try and pull off. Plus you’ll probably just end up accidentally killing yourself in the backyard.

But judging by the videos he’s been posting, [Kris Kersey] is doing one hell of a job creating a functional heads-up display (HUD) similar to the one Tony uses in the films. He’s even building it into a 3D printed Iron Man helmet, with the NVIDIA Jetson board that’s powering the show inside a chest-mounted “Arc Reactor”. He goes into a bit more detail about the project and his goals in an interview recently published on NVIDIA’s own blog.

Dual 2K 120 Hz displays provide sharp visuals

The HUD shows [Kris] an impressive amount of information, such as his current compass heading, GPS position on a moving map, the tilt angle of his head, and various internal and external temperatures. Perhaps most impressively, it uses the computational power of the Jetson Nano to perform real-time object detection that highlights individuals as they come into his field of view. While that last function doesn’t appear to have a practical application, seeing the HUD rapidly rendering a targeting reticle over each person certainly looks like something out of a sci-fi film.

In the first video below, [Kris] takes the viewer through the process of building and testing the HUD system, which includes plenty of footage recorded through the helmet’s digital eyes. In the second video, he provides an update on the HUD’s performance when he switches out the original NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX board for the newer NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano — which we took a look at back when it released back in March.

This isn’t actually the first time we’ve seen somebody create their own Iron Man helmet with a digital HUD. But with all due respect to those previous attempts, what [Kris] has accomplished here doesn’t just raise the bar — it launches it into orbit.

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