The military is always pursuing new ways to push the boundaries, and in doing so it recruits teams from all over the country to bring new technology to the table and develop that technology into a deployable system.
Next up on the Air Forces list of new interns is a research team from Utah State University, who recently won a $100,000 grant over 33 other entries for its ‘Spiderman-like’ climbing assistant which hopes to give soldiers an advantage over using grappling hooks.
Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber Scales Walls
Dubbed the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), the device consists of two suction pads, a vacuum pack, and support system. Once the pads are pressed onto a surface they create a seal effectively. The support system sufficient holds the users weight, which allows them to release their grip and remain locked the wall ‘hands-free’. This enables the solider to use the weapon, or any other device without fear of falling.
The device can work on any surface from bricks to glass, and can be easily assembled and disassembled when needed.
The team, known as the “Ascending Aggies” and lead by Dr. Steve Hansen, plan to use the grant to developing three major areas in need of improvement.
First is the noise, as you can hear in the video, the device is far from stealth. The next step is to optimize efficiency – the first version focused on safety, and thus used way more power than it actually needed. With a less demanding toll on the vacuum and motor, the team then hopes to scale down the device to make it more portable.