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Taser, the stun gun company, has announced a shotgun cartridge which fires a wireless electric shock round to knock down a person up to 65 feet away.

The 2.4 gram TASER XREP (pictured) leaves an ordinary 12-gauge barrel at about 300 feet per second. When it hits, as well as providing "blunt impact", four barbed electrodes puncture clothes to deliver the same painful jolt as one of the firm's handheld weapons. The 20-second shock comes from a lithium ion battery.

It's in pilot for the next six to 12 months, and is expected to cost about $99 a shot on release.

A picture of Taser's new electric shock shotgun shell

Shotgun shocker

XREP was one of a trio of new initiatives at yesterday's annual conference of the world's leading electropain outfit. There is also a deal with robotics firm iRobot to slap remote-controlled electric shock weaponry onto machines used by the military and police.

A third application of "Neuro-Muscular Incapactation" will see a battery of six wired taser darts sprayed simultaneously in a 20 degree arc. The Taser Shockwave is aimed at border guards who feel the need to take down several people.

At the launch, Taser CEO Rick Smith said: "The TASER Shockwave addresses the need for enhanced area denial and force protection at checkpoints where life-and-death decisions must be made instantaneously."

Translation: it really hurts and there's a better chance a panicked grunt won't kill someone than if he reaches for the M16.

There's a load more info, including some pretty creepy promotional videos, here. The new designs are just the latest fruits of Taser's efforts to apply cattle prod technology to as many situations as possible. At CES this year, it launched a version for consumers, in five pretty colours.®

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