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 -
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'- Alfred Bester, 1974.
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
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!
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.
A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'
Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.
Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'
Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.
Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'
Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.
Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'
Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'
Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'
Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories