Personnel Vacuum Assisted Climber: Your Noisy Neighborhood Vacuum-Man
June 13th, 2012
A team of Utah State University engineering students have built a wearable device that allows its user to climb walls. Their solution borrows less from Spider-Man and more from Inspector Gadget. Instead of subjecting themselves to radioactive spider bites, the Ascending Aggies built large suction pads.
The students, who call themselves the Ascending Aggies, won first place at the Air Force Research Laboratory Design Challenge for their invention. The challenge was to build a lightweight device that could help special forces officers to scale walls or mountain faces without using a grappling hook. The Ascending Aggies responded with the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber or PVAC: two powerful suction pads with soft ends that can conform to the surface of the wall.
The pads are adhered by battery-powered vacuums in modified ice cream buckets and each pull 4.5psi. They didn’t make additional pads for the feet, although if you look at the video below you’ll see some sort of hook-shaped ninja toe attachments on the tester’s feet.
Spider-Man annoys his villains with his witty retorts. I guess American soldiers will piss the hell out of their enemies with the PVAC’s obnoxious whine. Check out the link below for more information.