In a solid bid for "the most awesomest thing ever that you probably can't afford and have little use for" title of the year, Atlas Devices' has unveiled this new Rope Ascender thing which can propel a 250-pound load -- including your sorry hiney -- 600 feet into the air at a blistering 10 feet per second. The device weighs 20 pounds, and has a better power-to-weight ratio than a Dodge Viper, according to Nathan Ball, a 23-year-old grad student at MIT who spearheaded the project along with three other colleagues. Originally based on power drill batteries and weighing 25 pounds, the device was initially designed for a MIT competition, but has blossomed into the Atlas Devices company, which continues to develop and market the unit. Obviously, special ops and rescue workers are the natural target for this "reverse rappelling," but we're sure a wannabe superhero or three will figure out something a tad more interesting and / or ill-advised to do with the thing. Peep an action vid along with another pic after the break.
Read - Atlas Devices official site
Read - Ask inventor Nathan Ball a question