Engineers at Brigham Young University (BYU) developed a new bulletproof and light-weight riot shield that unfolds like origami.
The new shield can be folded compactly when not in use, which makes it a lot easier to transport and deploy. When expanded, it can provide cover for officers and stop bullets from most handguns. It is made by 12 layers of Kevlar fiber.
The new origami shields weigh only 55 pounds, which is far lighter than the 100 lbs current steel-based shields weigh.
“We worked with a federal special agent to understand what their needs were, as well as SWAT teams, police officers and law enforcement, and found that the current solutions are often too heavy and not as portable as they would like,” Larry Howell, professor of mechanical engineering at BYU who helped design the shield, said in a press statement.”We wanted to create something that was compact, portable, lightweight and worked really well to protect them.”
When being tested, the origami shield successfully stopped bullets from 9 mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistols. The shield is currently just a prototype, but it several law enforcement agencies have indicated their interest in it.
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