Feeds

DHS working on pocket puke-ray

'Light-sabre' to battle alien hordes

The essential guide to IT transformation

The US Department of Homeland Security is working on a torch-like "light-sabre" weapon, designed to leave aliens (illegal ones, that is) stumbling and puking helplessly.

S&T Snapshots, an inhouse journal of the DHS Science and Technology arm, reports that the S&T Directorate's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) office has a contract with Intelligent Optical Systems, a small Californian company. Bob Lieberman and Vladimir Rubtsov, leading lights of Intelligent Optical, are developing the regurge-rapier tech for DHS.

"There are often confrontations at border crossings with suspected illegal aliens or drug runners," Lieberman told S&T Snapshots. "You don't want to hurt or kill them, just take them into custody. With this," he said - apparently with a smile, no doubt a rather sinister one. "They don't need to know English to comply."

The plan is that riot-boffins from Pennsylvania State University's Institute of Nonlethal Defense Technology, will try the vomit-dazzle beam out on volunteers this autumn. Hopefully they'll do it on a tiled floor, or put down some plastic sheet or something.

"There's one wavelength that gets everybody," chortled Lieberman, worryingly. "Vlad calls it the evil color."

Good old Vlad. What a card.

S&T Snapshots fed-scribes write that: "The light could be used to make a bad guy turn away or shut his eyes, giving authorities enough time to tackle the suspect and apply the cuffs... "

Provided the lawmen didn't slip in the pools of vomit, anyway - or wander into any, erm, projectiles. It's no picnic in the DHS, clearly.

At the moment the sick-sabre module is a bit on the tubby side, at four inches thick and over a foot long. Lieberman and Rubtsov hope to get it down to Mag-lite torch/truncheon* dimensions soon - though there is also talk of a "wide-angle" bazooka-sized device, capable of "immobilising a mob".

This latter option sounds almost too awful to contemplate: hundreds of hapless would-be migrants floundering in a self-generated chunky lake. This type of heavy chunder-cannon ordnance is also under investigation by the US armed forces, as it happens. They want to mount it on a flying robot, naturally.

Still, fearful as the disco hurl-gun may be, its effects could be marginally less unpleasant than being clubbed, shot, or electrified into submission. And it could be relatively easy to circumvent, too.

If, as S&T Snapshots suggests, the chunder-cutlass "could be in the hands of thousands of policemen, border agents, and National Guardsmen" by 2010, we might see big uptake of mirrorshades among the huddled masses. ®

*You didn't think plods carried those things just to light stuff up, did you?

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.