Move Over Spiderman; Utah Students Invent PVAC
A group of engineering students from Utah State University have recently received acclaim for a device they invented called the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC) that will have anyone scaling building walls just like Spidey. The students, also known as the “Ascending Aggies,” built the PVAC using a vacuum motor that powers two suction paddles and sticks to nearly any building surface including glass, stucoo, or brick. The PVAC is strong enough to support 700 pounds depending on the altitude and was invented by the students as part of a national competition sponsored by the Air force. This vacuum powered climbing device performed so well that the military is investing $100,000 in the project to develop the PVAC further. The Aggies competed against teams from 16 other schools to see who could get four soldiers up a sheer 90-foot face in 20 minutes with a device that weighed less than 20 pounds. “We went into this competition not knowing what the requirements were going to be,”team captain T.J. Morton told USU News. “The competition allowed us to use everything we had learned about in our engineering courses and apply it to a genuine design problem.” Despite how awesome the PVAC seems, there is definitely room for improvement. For one thing, it’s about as loud as a leafblower, making it pretty difficult for anyone using it to maintain some level of stealthiness. Furthermore, the team hopes to increase the PVAC’s efficiency by reducing its weight even further. Either way, the PVAC proves that you don’t need to be bitten by a radioactive spider or don a spandex suit to climb up a wall.