While I am sure that jet packs are being designed to propel the user from the ground, I highly doubt that they are currently also being designed for use as weapons. However, in the film, the repulsors assist in flight, but with a little tweaking, the glove repulsor thrusters and the uni-beam projector at the center of his chest are utilized for yet another use: firepower.
Tony Stark’s ‘repulsor technology’ has not been invented yet in real-life, but we do have particle beam weapons, lasers, and ‘sound bullets’. In real-life there is some technology similar to repulsor rays that are real or even practicable; most, however, are purely science fiction. The repulsor technology (in the film) does not have moving parts, it imparts kinetic force on the target, it charges quickly, there is no visible thermal or chemical damage, they are independent from the rest of the suit, and there is a recoil when they are fired.
A particle beam weapon uses an electromagnetic field generator to focus ionized particles into a centralized sphere of heat and energy. Which, with a sudden reverse of current, can be shot out in an energy-ball type form. This kind of weapon works by disrupting electric circuits and electronic devices in its targets. It can also damage or melt its target by the electrical resistance heating of the target. If living tissue, such as humans or animals, were to be caught by the electrical discharge of an electron beam weapon, they would be most likely electrocuted.
Most of the weapons in Iron Man are real and practical such as the dual arm-mounted 9mm submachine guns, shoulder-mounted minigun, shoulder deployed bunker buster missile launchers, anti-tank missiles, anti-personnel guns in the shoulders, flare launchers on the hips, multi-fire adhesive grenade launcher on the upper arm, and a one-time-use hand-mounted laser weapon added to the various suits shown in the Iron Man films. They would simply have to be added to the armor itself.
Several experimental particle beam weapons were tested at scientific laboratories such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico by both the United States and the USSR from the 1950s to the 1980s. The U.S. Defense Strategic Defense Initiative Organization put into development the technology of a neutral particle beam for strategic defense applications.
Work on a weapon such as this is being developed by Sandia National Laboratories (a portion of Lockheed Martin Co.) in Sandia, New Mexico. Work on a $40 Million Ion Beam Facility at Kirtland Air Force Base has begun. It will house six accelerators; and is scheduled for occupancy this year.
The quest to design a controlled fusion reaction is currently underway at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), with scientists reporting that early progress ahead of ignition experiments (which are set to start later this year). The main aim of the world’s largest laser—which is the size of three football fields—is to develop a carbon-free, limitless fusion energy.
The Navy has been testing laser-armed robotic guns for defense against incoming missiles. It has already been used to knock a drone out of the sky. CIWS are generally outfitted with a 20mm Gatling gun, as a ship’s last line of defense against incoming missiles. If they can make the transition to lasers, there are two advantages: first, they do not have to be reloaded; and second, when used on land, there will not be as much shrapnel lying around as they destroy more of the threat than the Gatling guns do.
At the California Institute of Technology, a team of researchers, in Pasadena think that they have found a way to make sound waves even more powerful with a new type of acoustic lens. It works by generating ‘sound bullets’ that shoot through the air much like a traditional bullet.
Acoustic lenses are used to focus sound in a similar way that an optical lens focuses light. Instead of using glass and mirrors, they designed a acoustic lens that is made of 21 rows of stainless-steel spheres, with each row having its own 21 spheres. By striking the top portion of the lens (the first sphere in each row), it generates acoustic solitary waves so that the researchers can send a compressive wave to each stack or row. These waves are then transmitted into whatever is on the other side of the lens.
Now that you know everything there is to know about the fictional and real-life Iron Man technology, AI, weapons, jet packs, and suits of armor, are you going to learn from these inventors, programmers, and designers and invent/build/design your own. Who knows? You might become the next real Iron Man. Only the future will tell.