Real Spiderman suit
Climbing up a featureless vertical wall without ropes or a ladder used to be considered impossible. We are pleased to announce that it is now in fact possible thanks to students of Utah State University, who have created a real Spiderman suit.
This amazing piece of equipment, named the Vacuum Ascender, was created by aerospace and mechanical engineering students from the university in response to a US Air Force competition where several universities were given $20,000 and 9 months to come up with a wall-climbing suit for the Special Forces. The Utah State team were the only ones to succeed, winning the university a further $50,000 grant. Here’s a video of the full ascent:
Using twin battery-powered fans, the Vacuum Ascender creates 4.5 pounds per square inch of suction within two adhesive anchors, making them stick to the wall until a valve is released. When one person has reached the top the anchors can then be used to secure ropes, allowing more people to ascend.
The Vacuum Ascender may still be considerably louder and less graceful than Spiderman’s own methods, but do remember that Spiderman is a fictional character (Alain Robert notwithstanding). With further refinements to the design funded by the military, next time you see the Vacuum Ascender it will be a small package that hums like a bee, and two little paws that stick like honey.