Vacuum Gloves For Climbing Buildings


Suction is incredibly powerful and can be put to use in several different ways. [Jem Stansfield] built a set of vacuum gloves for a BBC TV series to show how powerful suction really is. He climbed up the side of a 100 foot building, yet had to rely on his safety line near the top. The video of his daring ascension after the jump.


[via DVICE]

22 thoughts on “Vacuum Gloves For Climbing Buildings

  1. what does he have in the backpack? is it two battery powered vacuum cleaners, or something specially made?

    If you were clever you could have just one vacuum cleaner, but you’d need some active control system to make sure the pressure in one suction cup doesn’t go down if the other suction cup is removed from the wall.

  2. Of course he has his safety rope for this setup, but in any practical application you would need more than two suction devices, since one is often removed from the surface and it’s stupid to rely 100% on the other one no matter how well tested it is. (even if it were perfectly reliable, what if the part of the building you stick it to falls off?)

    I would also suggest that it is not too difficult, with a little more engineering, to make it stick to not-perfectly flat surfaces. Perhaps by using an array of smaller cups (which can still be rigidly attached to each other) with the contact edge made of a wide seal of something more ‘gooey.’

  3. A volume tank and check valves are the only “active” control system needed to get by with one vacuum pump. One problem with suction is the higher you go in elevation the less work it can do, because the atmospheric pressure is what’s doing the work. As I recall at sea level you have around 12 psi to work with.

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