August 24, 2005

New machine allows soldiers to hurdle buildings

LONDON (Reuters) - A device that allows people to scale
tall buildings in if not a single, then at least two bounds,
has been developed for the U.S. military.

The PowerQuick personal lifting device can raise or lower a
load of up to 145 kg (320 lb) at the rate of one meter (yard)
per second, enabling special forces, rescue services or even
construction workers to quickly ascend or escape buildings.

New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday the operator would
shoot a rope attached to a grappling hook to the top of the
building and then attach the rope to a harness-like device
which hauls them up.

It said one battery charge would be sufficient to climb 250
metres -- the equivalent of five times the height of the Statue
of Liberty.

Quoin International, the Nevada-based company that
developed the device for the Pentagon's Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, said on its Web site the solid fuel
military version was designed for hostage rescue and urban

However, the battery-powered civilian version had been
designed with commercial applications such as building repair,
logging or window washing in mind.