Two hackers have built a home-made version of an Israeli grenade-launcher camera. It doesn’t actually work, but hey you can’t have everything.
Vlad Gostom and Joshua Marpet were the latest pair to show off their work at the DEF CON event in Vegas. They took their idea from a device that’s been developed by an Israeli defense contractor for military use: a wireless camera that can be launched by a 40mm grenade launcher. The idea is to get footage from areas that are near enough that an unmanned drone isn’t necessary, but in a situation where it’s not safe to explore on foot. The military version can fire the camera up to 500 feet though only gives around eight seconds of footage before the camera crashes.
Gostom and Marpet believe the technology could be adapted for civilian or police use and should be possible for around $500. With grenade launchers being somewhat frowned upon in civilian life, they are attempting to recreate the concept using a 37mm flare gun.
The first test firing, which took place just before DEF CON and was covered during the presentation, was unsuccessful as the device didn’t fully ignite. The camera only traveled 30 feet and the accompanying parachute caught fire.
However, the pair are convinced the concept could work, and they believe the flare gun model could eventually fire a device 250 feet. They say that if the plan works, the device could be used for getting more comprehensive coverage in search and rescue missions, and could also be useful for police preparing for raids into hostile territory.
And while individual enthusiasts and explosive materials don’t always mix well, Gostom appears to believe leaving things to the experts isn’t always the best idea: a few weeks ago he retweeted the Dave Barry quote “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.”
(Picture credit: Tech World)