Posts tagged PVAC
Great news for those of you that are out to become the next Spider Man! Yes, you read it correctly; while we cannot promise laser vision or shooting spider webs all over, you can get excited about the ability to vertically climb any wall, be it glass, rock or even stucco.
Thanks to the “Ascending Aggies” team from the Utah State University, we can have a live, hands on experience of this innovative new technology, while the rest of the world has to wait four more weeks for the actual new “Spider-Man” movie to come out in theaters.
The Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), a project developed by a team of 15 mechanical and aerospace engineers, and led by Dr. Steve Hansen, is basically a vacuum motor that powers two suction paddles.
As frivolous as this idea may sound at first, it might actually benefit the military and the Air force quite substantially; the problem soldiers are facing nowadays when climbing a vertical wall is usually with the first man, who weighs approximately around 48 pounds, and has to secure a rope winch once on top in order for others to climb on using the existing technology, i.e. vertical ascenders. The rope itself weighs around 25 pounds so you can imagine the difficulty of this task.
The PVAC is supposed to solve this issue, with its two suction pads, vacuum pack assemblies and a support system. So how do these components actually work to perform the required task you ask? Well, the vacuum pack assembly generates sufficient suction to permit the pads to work, while the support system aids the climber since it is there to support his/her weight, hence making the whole climbing experience much easier.
Here is a video showcasing a climber in action, but be warned, it might be a little loud:
The only problem with this vacuum pack is that it is extremely noisy; in fact, its sound pierces your ears just as much as your regular household vacuum does. Hence, making it that much more difficult to subtly penetrate a building, unless of course, everyone inside it have regular vacuum wall cleaning service.
Nevertheless, it seems the Air Force thought the project worthwhile, since they gave the Aggies $100,000 to continue development.
So, the next time you witness a man climbing a wall, don’t get too excited, it just might be your average J.I.Joe.
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