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A YouTuber just built a real-life stillsuit from Dune

Published May 21st, 2024 2:41PM EDT
Dune: Part Three should bring back most of the cast.
Image: Warner Bros.

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The stillsuit is an integral part of the story in Frank Herbet’s Dune, which has recently soared in popularity thanks to the very well-done two-part movie series. Now, a YouTube channel called Hacksmith Industries has set out to build a real-life still suit. While the final product isn’t nearly as impressive as the movie props used in Dune Part One and Dune Part Two, it’s still a clear showcase of human ingenuity.

These YouTubers have previously built other tech from movies, including a plasma-powered lightsaber that can burn through doors. In this latest video, though, the team sets out to build a stillsuit that can actually recycle their sweat. While Dune makes the still suit look easy, it’s actually a lot harder than you might think to create such a useful outfit.

You’ll notice that I only mention sweat as the recycled moisture here. That’s because the team at Hacksmith Industries decided to leave the whole recycling urine and feces thing to the “real” Fremen, instead just opting to try to build a real-life still suit that could capture sweat and moisture from the wearer’s breath.

The result is an intriguing one-day build that looks like it could maybe work. To make such a project work, the team began with a waterproof bag-suit and then added a heat exchange in the back. This offers a cold surface for the interior of the suit, allowing the sweat and moisture to condense, so that it can then drip down into a bottle for drinking.

They also attached a one-way filter mask to a tube, allowing the user to breathe in fresh air. When they breathe out, the moisture from their breath is caught and sent back down into the suite, wherein it can condense as well, allowing for more water to be harvested.

When they were ready to make the final product, they replaced the waterproof bag-suit with a more form-fitting clean-room suit. The final result looks more like a homemade cosplay. While it doesn’t offer the same big-budget look as the more recent Dune movies, the real-life still suit at least shows that the technology used to keep Fremen alive in Dune isn’t as far-fetched as some might believe. That being said, this iteration definitely needs some work before they head off into the desert.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.