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05-23-10, 12:53 PM #1
Russian man aims to reinvent 'Taser' technology
A Russian man is hoping to overhaul the technology within Taser-type weapons -- transforming them from single-shot, short-range devices that stun for a few seconds, into more effective long-range, rapid-fire weapons -- by modifying the wires and the type of shock they generate.
Traditionally, remote electroshock weapons work by firing a pair of darts, each trailed by conducting wires. When the darts hit the target a circuit is made, and a series of electric shocks flow between them to stun the target.
Non-lethal weapon developer Oleg Nemtyshkin's design, however, uses bare wires, rather than the insulated wires favoured by Taser and other stun gun makers. These wires weigh only about one sixteenth as much as insulated wire, providing less drag on the darts and improved accuracy.
Nemtyshkin demonstrated his bare wire technology with a prototype – "Legionary" -- in 2001. His latest version is the S5, and a video of the weapon in action shows it firing repeatedly -- almost as fast as the trigger can be pulled.
By contrast, the X26 Taser, used by British police forces, is a single-shot weapon, while the latest Taser X3 released last year in the US delivers three shots.
But it's not just speed: by using bare wire, it becomes much cheaper to manufacture. Just as with inkjet printers, you can end up spending more on the "ammunition" cartridges for Tasers than the guns themselves.
A standard cartridge, containing a pair of darts, costs about £15. But Nemtyshkin believes he can bring this down to three or four pounds when his design is mass-produced. As he puts it, he wants to make the non-lethal weapon as cheap as shooting someone.
But while cost may not seem so important to Westerners, it can be a big factor in many parts of the world. For example, the average Russian police officer is paid about £500 per month, and budgets for equipment and training ammunition are tight.
Nemtyshkin had trouble finding business partners in Russia, so he teamed up with an American outfit. John McDermit, CEO of Nova Technologies, confirmed to Wired that his company has signed an exclusive agreement to use Nemtyshkin's technology.
The company, which makes stun guns and other security devices, already has a prototype based on the S5. This is called the Stun Ray and is expected to be in production later this year.
Steve Tuttle of Taser International is, rather unsurprisingly, dubious about the concept of uninsulated wires, pointing out that there are "enormous technical challenges" in making this approach effective in practice.
Were they not insulated, the two darts in a Taser are so close together that there would be arcing across the gap between them. In Nemtyshkin's designs the darts have to be spaced further apart and fired from separate launch tubes. Only extensive testing and field use will show if the bare wires cause other problems or can be shorted out too easily.
Russian man aims to reinvent 'Taser' technologyDo not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
05-23-10, 08:36 PM #2
Meh. Bet the bare wires create problems, but if competition helps the technology mature and drives the price down, I'm all for it.
Still waiting on a star truck stun phaser.Idiot
05-24-10, 10:36 AM #3APB Guest
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