Toy company hired to arm US military
Lund and Company Invention, a toy design studio based near Chicago, makes toy rockets that are powered by burning hydrogen obtained by electrolysing water. Now the company is being funded by the US army to adapt the technology to fire bullets instead.
Bruce Lund, the company's CEO, says the gun works by mixing a liquid or gaseous fuel with air in a combustion chamber behind the bullet. This determines the explosive capability of the propellant and consequently the velocity of the bullet as it leaves the gun. "Projectile velocity varies from non-lethal at 10 metres, to lethal at 100 metres or more, as desired," says Lund.
The existing VWS design is a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) rifle weapon, but Lund says the technology can be scaled to any size, "handgun to Howitzer".
Experts warn that fatal mistakes could be made in stressful situations, with angry soldiers turning the dial up on mobs, or forgetting to turn it up when confronted by a situation that requires a lethal response.
Me, I think we're more likely to find all the secret Star Trek fans crawling out of the military woodwork, cries of set weapons to "stun", Number One echoing across the training grounds...
As an aside, Lund are the people behind Tickle Me Elmo as well, which makes images of armies of armed Elmos marching towards a mob; Hee hee hee, this will tickle, hee hee hee!
Article in New Scientist