Today’s U.S. Special Tactics Battlefield Airmen forces are highly trained, in peak physical condition and equipped with 150 pounds of gear, weapons and body armor to conduct rescue and assault missions around the world. Often these missions involve challenging physical obstacles such as scaling high walls, crossing waterways and rooftops, or quickly rescuing and transporting injured victims —tasks that require strong, versatile, portable tools. Traditionally standard 40-pound aluminum ladders have been used, but they’re a bulky and heavy burden for personnel already loaded with gear.
To solve this equipment challenge, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory issued the University Design Challenge to engineering students at 16 universities and three military academies. Their mission was to develop a portable, lightweight, multipurpose tool that could traverse a variety of obstacles over a 20-foot gap and was simple to deploy, reusable and able to hold 350 pounds. Each team received $20,000 and had nine months to complete their design. Continue reading ““BAMBI” BACKPACK DESIGNED TO BUILD BRIDGES FOR MILITARY” »