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China has been slowly emerging as a global power in a number of areas. In recent years, everything from their box office to their space program has been growing in leaps and bounds. For that reason, it’s not too surprising that those two things may begin to influence each other. China’s largest aerospace contractor has unveiled a new robot designed for a variety of tasks outside of our atmosphere and he may look more than a little familiar to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
From the coloring down to the fact that the robot has a logo in the same location that Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor would be located this guy, named Xiaotian, looks more than a little bit like Iron Man. The robot’s name translates to "Little Sky" rather than anything that implies a comic connection even more than the robot already does. The robot was designed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp and was unveiled during a technology conference in Shanghai.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the robot is designed to handle everything from lunar landings to being placed aboard unmanned probes. The robot’s hands are reported to have the dexterity of the human hand. The image doesn’t really seem to have hands so we’ll have to wait and see how that works out.
More than likely the prototype shown at the conference was painted to resemble Iron Man specifically to gather attention. One assumes that the robot could be painted a variety of colors, depending on the needs or desires of the space agency who buys them. Although, if you can have your robot painted to look like Iron Man, why wouldn’t you do that. The red and yellow certainly stands out on a trade show floor and has become a look that is pretty instantly recognizable all over the world.
Iron Man 3 was an especially big hit in China, and even filmed scenes that were specifically designed to appeal to the Chinese market. The Chinese have fallen in love with western movies in recent years and the Marvel franchise is a huge part of what draws them into theaters. Even Ant-Man was a huge smash there,
Now what we really need here is a collection of Xiaotian robots all painted to look like Tony Stark’s Iron Legion. One assumes that China Aerospace is going to want to sell as many of these as possible. and who doesn’t want their own army of robots to control. What could possibly go wrong?