DARPA wants to put a bulletproof wall inside of a can

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has envisioned some peculiar and diverse projects over the years, from molten metal-filled missiles, all the way to submarines that can fly. Then there’s this new project that aims to create a portable cylinder that can blow up into a nearly impenetrable wall. Because sometimes you just need that. The group suggested the idea, which is nicknamed Block Access to Deny Entry, in a request for information that was spotted by io9. In short, it asks for a way to “construct a barrier without human intervention,” meaning no touching anything. You just hit a button, or pull a tab and it should expand into a barrier that DARPA says would be “orders of magnitude” in size. That barrier would then need to keep somebody from getting through it using a saw or other hand tool. Better yet, DARPA suggests it could offer resistance from ballistic devices, be see-through, and be reversible back down to a smaller state if need be.

The folks over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have announced they’re looking for someone to construct a compact, cylinder-shaped delivery device that can instantly expand into a large structure (web, wall, blockade or barrier) without human intervention. In other words, no assembly required. The project is called “Block Access to Deny Entry” or “BlockADE.” (Creative acronyms seem to be a source of pride for DARPA.) The agency envisions a container—0.3 meters in diameter, around 2 meters in length, weighing no more than 300 pounds—filled with a material and/or device that “provide expansion ratios of several orders of magnitude, while maintaining sufficient properties to block or slow access to a specified area (e.g., mechanical strength for solid barriers, stickiness or sharpness for web or briar-like barriers, capacity to self-weld or self-assemble, etc.).” The other criteria is that it must be able to deny or slow access to someone with hand tools, such as saws, hammers, axes and shovels. Bonus points if the design allows for added functionality, including “ballistic resistance.” Have any ideas? Share them in the comments section, or send them directly to DARPA. Or Wayne Enterprises.

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