The last time I was trapped at the top of a burning building, I was quite miffed that it took firefighters so damned long to reach me climbing up their ropes. In fact, I was so annoyed that I refused to go back down with them until they’d talked me through the complaints procedure and given me a form to fill in. All that unpleasant paperwork would be a thing of the past if they’d only had Atlas Devices’ Rope Ascender.
Now contrary to what I originally thought on seeing that video, inside the box of tricks isn’t a selection of small, rope-climbing monkeys but this complicated multi-wind cylinder capable of pulling “a fully loaded soldier” at 10ft/sec. That’s faster than some of the girls I’ve seen down at the docks.
The culmination of an MIT project, the Rope Ascender should be seeing service in the US army before long.