Scientists develop air-conditioned bulletproof vest to keep cops cool

scientists develop air conditioned bulletproof vest to keep cops cool empaCops working on a hot summer’s day who find themselves, in the course of their duty, staring down the barrel of an assailant’s gun have two reasons to sweat.

However, if a new item of clothing developed by materials technology company Empa becomes widely used, it may help them to keep cool in the most demanding of situations.

Scientists at the Swiss company have come up with an air-conditioned bulletproof vest designed to keep its wearer cool and comfortable as they go about their work.

“Bullet-proof vests made of Kevlar, as their name suggests, hold off bullets but they are also impenetrable for water vapor,” the company explains on its website. “Thus police personnel who must wear such gear under their uniforms sweat profusely when the weather is warm.”

The bulletproof vest incorporates an integrated cooling system consisting of special water-filled pads and a number of small fans. As the water evaporates it cools its surroundings, while the fans help to distribute the cool air around the wearer’s body.

scientists develop air conditioned bulletproof vest to keep cops cool empaNot surprisingly, Empa described the task of designing its special bulletproof garment as “quite tricky.” Unable to find any suitable miniature fans on the market, it ended up having to design and build its own. It also had to deal with the issue of water leaking from the pads, something which initially happened a lot through the stress placed upon them by the garment’s wearer.

Finally, Empa scientists wanted to make it easy to refill the pads once all the water had evaporated – something which will be necessary after around three hours of continuous use. To solve the problem, they came up with a quick-release fastener. “During the same pit stop, the mini fans can be exchanged for those with freshly charged batteries. Then the vest is ready once again for three to four hours of duty,” the company said.

According to Empa, its bulletproof vest is much lighter and cools more effectively than any other similar systems currently on the market.

Officers working for Zurich’s police department have reportedly tested out the vest, giving it the green light after wearing it on several hot days.

Empa says the technology can also be used for protective suits worn over normal clothing and even for rucksacks.

If the vest really is as lightweight, comfortable and effective as its maker claims, it could well become the bulletproof garment of choice for police departments everywhere, helping to take the heat out of some potentially sticky situations.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Health & Fitness

Under Armour launches UA Rush, athletic wear that recycles your energy

Under Armour's newest performance clothing line, UA Rush, is a beautiful combination of science and apparel design. It's a mineral-infused fabric designed to enhance the performance of the wearer by recycling the body's energy.
Deals

Amazon slashes Easter Week prices for Dyson vacuums and air purifiers

Amazon slashed the prices on many Dyson high-tech products, including vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and more for Easter Week. Dyson's premium household tools attract millions of fans and Amazon took deep discounts on popular products.
Smart Home

Get better back support at work in one of the best office chairs

Sitting at the office all day can be tough on more than just your back. Check out our picks for the best office chairs, whether you're in the market for something basic or a bit more luxurious.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.