The U.S. military continues to develop new technologies to be used in the field, including Iron Man-like augmented reality glasses. This time, the Air Force challenged researchers all over the country to find a way to climb vertical walls without the use of a grappling hook. Ascending Aggies — a team of researchers from Utah State University — came up with an answer in the form of system that uses vacuums and suction pads.
Called the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), the system looks like a couple of rectangular pads connected to a vacuum pack attached to the back of a climber. It can be used on most surfaces, including rock and glass, giving the user almost Spider-Man-like climbing skills.
PVAC won this year's Design Challenge by the Air Force Research Laboratory, netting the Ascending Aggies a $100,000 grant. According to project leader, Dr. Steve Hansen, the money will be used to tweak PVAC so it can work quietly and be used for stealth operations — if you watch the video above, you can hear that it emits a loud whirring noise. The team also wants to make it more efficient and to minimize its weight.
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