Feeds

DARPA plots emergency man-cannon

Launcher to lob circus SWAT team

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Plans for DARPA's man cannonYou'd think that with global terrorist threats and fighting two wars, the US Defense Department would have little time on its hands to start a circus troupe.

However, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has filed a patent application for a contraption designed to hurl SWAT teams and other emergency workers onto the roofs of inaccessible tall buildings human cannonball style, New Scientist reports.

The lethal-looking device (pictured) consists of a forward-facing chair mounted on rails that point at an angle of up to 80°. Powered by compressed air, the foolhardy “payload” would shoot up until the saddle reaches the end of the rails, at which point he would flail free skyward.

The application is extremely detailed, with proposals for computer control, feedback mechanisms, and valve pneumatics. They don't seem to have considered in as much depth what happens once gravity takes over.

But no matter, the designers reckon a four metre high launcher could put a man on the top of a five storey building in less than two seconds.

Read the patent here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.