Video: Batman's grapple gun is no fantasy

Posted by Shane McGlaun

If you've watched Batman or read any of the comics, you know the caped crusader often relies on some sort of projectile that shoots a grappling hook - allowing him to climb up the side of a building with relative ease.

Well, a team of engineering students at Brigham Young University (BYU) recently managed to create a Batman-style grappling projectile that will be presented to the US Air Force in the context of a contest held by the Air Force Research Lab.

Indeed, the "Batman gun" fires a grappling hook with a cord strong enough to support a person, along with hundreds of pounds of gear.

"We used Batman as a picture of what we wanted to accomplish," said BYU student William Tryon. "We’ve learned that Batman must have been really confident in his technology."

The device - which features winches - lifts the user up a 90-foot building automatically with little effort, as it climbs at a rate of over 30 feet per minute.

"The Air Force wants to be able to go to higher heights, to new surfaces and to be able to do it faster," faculty advisor Greg Bishop explained. "They’ve got to be able to still do that, essentially, with either holding a weapon or a communication device."