Utah State University engineering undergraduate students have walked off as winners in an Air Force competition asking university teams to deliver systems that can help climbers reach the top of a 90-foot wall. Their wall crawler is designed to help commandos scale tall structures without having to depend on helpers like grappling hooks. The winning device uses vacuum suction to get the wall-climber to the top. The students call their device Personnel Vacuum Assisted Climber, or PVAC.
Air Force pararescue jumpers tested 17 university teams entries on a 90-foot concrete silo in Calamityville, Ohio. They concluded that the Utah system was the best to win the Air Force Research Laboratory’s annual Design Challenge.