Troy James Hurtubise (born November 23, 1963) is an inventor and conservationist from North Bay, Ontario, Canada noted for his often bizarre creations that he tests on himself. Some of these inventions include the Ursus personal armor suit, firepaste (an ablative heatproofing material), various ray generators, and recently, Trojan, which is a type of body armor.
He was born in Hamilton, Ontario.
Hurtubise built a metal suit for protection from grizzly bears; recorded as a National Film Board documentary and called Project Grizzly, in which Hurtubise tested the capabilities of the suit using himself as the test subject. This resulted in his Ig Nobel Prize for Safety Engineering in 1998.
Firepaste is a white paste that, when dry, is flame and heat resistant. It has a consistency and texture similar to clay when wet and dries into a gray ceramic material which resembles concrete. The impetus for firepaste came from a failed fire test with the Ursus Mark VII where the metal exoskeleton heated up, popped the air bags and left Hurtubise with numerous burns. Like Project Grizzly, Hurtubise has tested the material on himself. For a demonstration for the media and military in summer 2004, he made a thin mask of the material, put it over his face, and aimed a specialized blowtorch at thousands of degrees directly at the mask. The temperature was intentionally much hotter than the temperatures reached by the Space Shuttle on reentry. A thermometer located between his face and the mask measured no appreciable temperature change below the mask after nearly ten minutes, and the integrity of the material stood strong.
According to Hurtubise, the device makes walls, hands, stealth shielding, and other objects transparent. He also claims that beams from the device have the side-effects of frying electronic devices and killing goldfishes. After testing the device on his own hand, Hurtubise claims he could see his own blood vessels and muscle tissue as clearly as if the skin had been pulled back, but the beam caused numbness and he began to feel ill. He also claims to be able to read the license-plate on a car in his garage from his workshop, and can see the road salt on it.
In early 2007, Hurtubise made public his new protective suit which was designed to be worn by soldiers. Calling it the "Trojan Ballistics Suit of Armor", Hurtubise describes it as the "first ballistic, full exoskeleton body suit of armour." Weighing in at 40 lbs, he claims that the suit can withstand bullets from high powered weapons (including an elephant gun). Hurtubise published a demonstration video where 9mm, .357 handgun rounds, and a 12 gauge shotgun round were fired at the suit's vest from short range; the apparently uncut video shows no marks at all on the ballistic clay underneath. The suit also features a knife holster and air conditioned helmet.
The suit has many features including a solar powered air system, recording device, compartments for emergency morphine and salt, and a knife and gun holster. He estimates that the cost of each suit to be roughly $2,000 if mass-produced. It has been called the "Halo suit", after the fictional MJOLNIR battle armor worn by the Master Chief character in the Xbox and PC video game series Halo.
In early February, after failing to receive any offers to buy the Trojan, Hurtubise, now bankrupt from the expense of creating the suit, was forced to put the prototype up for auction on eBay in the hopes that it would bring in enough money to sustain his family. The auction's reserve bid was not met. There was a raffle for the suit on the Mission Trojan website, whose goal is to raise money for further prototypes and testing of the Trojan Suit to demonstrate its abilities for military applications. The suit was won by Sara Markis of Florida who re-donated it back to Hurtubise for work on his next prototype.
- Hemsworth, Wade (Jan 11, 2007). "From bears to bullets: Inventor hopes to sell armour suit to the military". The Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on 27 Sep 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Alison Motluk (10 December 2001). "Bear-proof suit scares off grizzly". New Scientist. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Improbable Research
- Improbable Research
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- "eBay.ca: "The Trojan" full-body armor designed by Troy Hurtubise (item 190079888295 end time 15-Feb-07 01:36:41 EST)". EBay. Archived from the original on Aug 9, 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- at Missiontrojan.com (currently down)
- "Mission Trojan". Archived from the original on Sep 19, 2007.