Where has this week gone? Here it is Friday again, and time for our weekly shoot-the-shit topic. We started weekly shoot-the-shits because, unlike meeting with a therapist,  you can generally expect to learn something you didn’t know before. Readers are free to make unsupported statements, insult any one they wish, use profanity or change the subject all together. You can do all this free of charge. Folks, this is better than a Japanese Wax Job.

We had a couple of topics that we wanted to shoot-the-shit about but decided on DARPA’s Z-MAN Program rather than the Facebook fiasco. Have you heard of Z-MAN? Don’t BS us, because we know you haven’t but it’s a shoot-the-shit so have at it.

The Z-MAN program’s purpose is to provide the war fighter with the same climbing ability of a Gecko. We’re a little pissed about it because about three years ago, when covering  USSOCOM TALOS, we commented that TALOS should have lizard like capabilities. People, a Gecko can climb a vertical surface, and the little bastards will jump 20+ times their body length. Now, fast forward to 2016 and DARPA has actually tested microstructures that allowed a 218 lb. man carrying a 50 lb. load to ascend and descend a glass 25 foot vertical surface using no climbing equipment. Forget belays, grappling hooks, static ropes, etc. etc. The first human climb took place in February 2012.

DARPA’s goal is to develop biologically inspired climbing aids to enable warfighters carrying a full combat load to scale vertical walls made from typical building materials. The targeted load bearing is 300 lbs. In our opinion integrating Z-MAN with TALOS would be an interesting arrangement. We’ll keep an eye on this for you and update it as information becomes available.

You can read all about Z-MAN on the DARPA site.

We hope that you have a safe and eventful weekend; spend some quality time with your buds and family. 


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