Paralysis Beam From Peak Beam Systems
A paralysis beam based on a 7.5 million candlepower strobe light from Peak Beam Systems is under development by the US Army.
(Maxa Beam from Peak Beam Systems)
Although details are sketchy, it appears that US government acquisition records call for Peak Systems to
"...design and fabricate a light-based immobilisation system/deterrent device and integrate it with an unmanned aerial system. This will include any necessary medical research on frequency and amplitude modulation of high-intensity light that will cause immobilisation to all those within the beam."
The Peak Beam Systems device can apparently be pulsed with a strobe effect that has some effect on the human nervous system. The Maxa Beam shown above has quite a range, too. It can illuminate targets as far as 1.5 miles away.
The Maxa Beam is small enough to be hand-held, which is a vital factor in the US Army's selection of the device. The ultimate goal is to mount the device on a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for crowd-control.
The idea of a paralysis beam is an old science fiction favorite. A early version can be found in the excellent 1958 novel The Mechanical Monarch, by E.C. Tubb. In the story, the para-beam is also installed on a roaming device - the frightful metamen:
Curt skidded to a halt, staring wildly at the advancing figure of the metaman, and darted to one side.
Blue fire streamed through the air where he had stood a moment before. It swung, lifted and Curt felt his legs go numb and almost lifeless as the blue ray stabbed past him, missing him by a fraction.
...Again the blue ray sent coldness through him, slowing his reflexes and chilling his blood with the touch of paralysis...
(Read more about the para-beam)
I also recall Robert Heinlein using the idea in his earlier 1940 story Methuselah's Children; in that story, he described paralysis bombs that delivered a paralyzing beam when set off.
This device also may remind fans of classic Star Trek of a device that appeared in the 1965 episode Dagger of the Mind - the neural neutralizer.
Check out these other beam-related stories:
For every technology, there are counter-measures; read about the Thor Shield Energy Weapon-Proof Fabric. Read more about the Paralyzing floodlight.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/21/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
TIKAD Armed Drone Ready To Fight
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...' - Larry Niven, 1972.
LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.' - Keith Laumer, 1976.
Railguns For Surface Ships
'It was simply a long solenoid that threw little steel bullets...' - John W. Campbell, 1933.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'
Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'
U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?
Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'
Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.
easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.
Meet Assist-e Honda's Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'
Kalashnikov's One-Seater Hovercraft
Not for windy days.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories