Since his first appearance in 1939, Batman has undergone a number of changes in his quest to both stay ahead of his enemies and relevant to comic book fans. However, one thing that has remained a constant is his continued use of unique tools and devices for vanquishing his foes.
And now, one of those devices is set to make its way into real-life law enforcement. I’m not sure what the Dark Knight called it, but the folks at Wrap Technologies are calling their Kevlar rope-shooting device the BolaWrap 100. Just like in the comics, video games, animated series and movies featuring the Caped Crusader, the BolaWrap 100 fires like a 9 mm handgun — but propels an eight-foot-long cord at 640 feet-per-second.
The Kevlar cord has two metal barbs on each end that attach to the targeted individual and allow the cord to wrap around the torso or legs. The cord is fired from a cartridge, so loading and unloading is similar to a firearm’s magazine or clip. It also features a laser aiming function and is effective from up to 25 feet. The general idea is for the BolaWrap to detain or restrain a person of interest without the use of firearms, tasers, rubber bullets or physical force.
The inventor of the device, who has no known connections to Wayne Enterprises, is Woody Norris – who also developed the LRAD acoustic cannon known for blasting out painful sound waves over long distances. He got his inspiration from the bolas, which is Spanish for ball, that were used by South American ranchers to help capture straying cattle.
A number of law enforcement agencies around the country are testing the devices, with perhaps the most notable being the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD is slated to begin a 90-day trial in January.