This week's New Yorker (yep, you heard me right) has a cool piece on the development of non-lethal weapons for military and police. You can tell the writer, Alec Wilkinson, had a good time reporting it. The story focuses on Charles Heal, a badass part-time Marine and part-time LA Sheriff's Department officer known in some circles as "Mr. Non-Lethal Weapons." As a product evaluator and consultant, Heal has helped create about 25 different non-lethal weapons, including:
• Throwbot: A small camera on wheels that can enter rooms where a gunman might be hiding
• SkySeer: a UAV with a camera meant for urban police work
• PepperBall: Think paintball, but with pepper powder
• Bola Ball: A bolo that cops would use to trip up assailants (proved a tad hard to master)
The piece covers some sweet demos, like Raytheon's Active Denial System pain ray (which we've mentioned), the TigerLight pepperspray-shooting flashlight, and a blinding laser cannon meant to "visually dissuade" assailants.