Darpa seeks pop-up wall-in-a-can (Wired UK)




The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is on
the hunt for technology or a material that could be packed into a
cylinder and rapidly deployed to block access to a specified

The brief — titled Block Access to Deny Entry (BlockADE) –
suggests it could be a “web, wall, blockade or barrier” and just
needs to be able to launch automatically (go-go gadget WALL!),
“without human intervention”. “Darpa envisions a compact system
filled with a material and/or device that when remotely triggered
can expand by orders of magnitude to form a structure to prevent
ingress or egress by a person/people,” Darpa explains.

The innovation agency is interested in both structures that can
be deployed from a single point source to prevent someone from
accessing a particular object (by filling a room with some sort of
flexible structure) and structures that could instantly create a
fence or wall around something, made out of multiple point

Key to all of these ideas will be for the structure to be able
to initiate and expand by several orders of magnitude very quickly
and autonomously. Darpa is also keen that whatever the material of
the structure, it can block or slow access even to people with hand
tools such as saws, hammers, axes and shovels.

Material-wise, Darpa suggests that foams, shape memory alloys,
pop-up structures and polymers could be of interest, as well as
“completely novel approaches”.

All of this should take place in a cylindrical delivery device
that is 30 centimetres in diameter, two metres tall and can hold
around 130kg.

We can’t help but remind ourselves about the ten-by-five metre
inflatable structure that the US Department of Homeland Security
developed to quickly block up transit or rail tunnels in the event
of flooding or the release of chemical agents. The cylindrical “resilient tunnel plug” is made out of a
flexible material that can be rapidly inflated to seal off



If you think you have the technology to do this, head on over to Darpa and apply.

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20 June 2014 | 8:35 am – Source: wired.co.uk

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