DARPA wants inflatable bundles to make rooms, walls or blockades – without human intervention

This one sounds a little like something Wile E Coyote might order from the Acme Co. to stop the Roadrunner.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it is looking for information on the best way to build what it called a “ a compact system that can expand into a large structure, like a web, wall, blockade or barrier, without human intervention.

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Specifically DARPA said it “envisions a compact system filled with a material and/or device that when remotely triggered, can expand by orders of magnitude and form a structure to prevent ingress or egress by a person/people.”

The program is called, naturally, Block Access to Deny Entry (BlockADE).

“For the purposes of this Request For Information, respondents may consider dimensional constraints of the compact delivery device to be a cylinder of 0.3 m diameter and 2 m length that can hold 300 lbs and should conceptualize the barrier as something which could deny/slow access to a person with hand tools (saw, hammer, axe, shovel, etc.).

“Significant advancements in existing technologies (foams, shape memory alloys, pop-up structures, polymers, rotary stamped materials, self-assembling technologies, adaptable/shape-changing concepts, etc.) and development of new components for future expandable concepts (alloys, monomers, autonomous systems and completely novel approaches) are of interest,” DARPA stated.

Such deployable systems are expected to have many potential applications ranging from blocking access to munitions caches to creating temporary buildings for those left shelterless by natural disasters, the agency said.

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