The US Air Force Wants Batman’s Grappling Gun

The US Air Force Wants Batman’s Grappling Gun
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Batman’s got some wonderful toys. Perhaps best of all, though, is his grappling gun, most recently (and commonly) seen in the last two Batman video games. In those games, to use it, you…equip it. Easy! In the real world, it’s a little harder.

Mostly because grappling guns don’t really exist in the real world. Not like Batman’s, anyway. So students at Brigham Young University have entered an Air Force challenge to try and make one. Using the Dark Knight as inspiration, their brief is to create a grappling device that can fire up to 90 feet away, and attach to any surface.

They’re not quite there yet, but the progress being made is pretty good!

Channeling Batman to help the Air Force [YouTube, via technabob]


  • The biggest issue (aside from the obvious grip factor) is reducing the size (width/height) of the rope/whatever used as well as the size and sound of the launcher itself. This would help in a number of ways. Just look at current rescue line launchers. From a military aspect they have way to many drawbacks in terms of being covert.

  • The “any” surface requirement really needs to be ignored since its impossible, after all there are plenty of surfaces which even with a good attachment could never load bear someone hanging from them. Glass and plaster immediately come to mind.
    It would be better to focus on common facade materials which have a structural component. In reality the grapple needs to only be made for concrete, wood, and steel to work 95% of the time. A grapple with self nailing spikes and a electromagnet should do it. It could probably be made far more likely to grab if there were 3 grapples shot with every line like fast spinning bolas. Also the fired line for most of its length could be a light weight pilot/tracer line that only needs to be strong enough to carry the heavy main load bearing line up to a clipping point.

  • Sooo, an adhesive that cures in light and that’s why the thing has little windows so that light can get through and cure the glue…. this isn’t going to work very well in the dark.

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