Many soldiers dream of having instant cover on the battlefield, and it looks like they might just get their wish. DARPA is soliciting proposals for BlockADE (Block Access to Deny Entry), a system that would automatically form a barrier from material stuffed into a canister 1ft by 6.5ft or smaller. If US troops needed to block off an entrance or create a makeshift building, all they'd have to do is hit a button -- much more effective than sandbagging or pitching a tent, we'd say.
the least, DARPA wants BlockADE designs to slow down intruders with axes or
saws. However, the agency is also looking for as many extra features as it can
get, including "ballistic resistance;" ideally, soldiers could take
cover behind the insta-wall in case of a firefight. There's no certainty that
this will happen, mind you. DARPA is likely many months away from seeing what
prototypes can do, let alone a finished system. Even if the resulting
technology isn't bulletproof, though, it could be extremely useful for creating
impromptu bases, perimeters and disaster shelters.