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No more rope burns with this device

Gadget climbs 10 feet per second

Atlas Devices

If only we had one of these in high school gym. This nifty invention by some enterprising MIT students can climb a rope all by itself at the astonishing rate of 10 feet per second--carrying 250 pounds all the while.

The success of the "Rope Ascender" apparently hinges on the concept of strength derived from winding the rope around a cylinder multiple times. The students' efforts, which led to the formulation of a company called Atlas Devices, have reportedly been rewarded already with a U.S. Army contract.

As an example of its very practical uses, Coolest-Gadgets notes that the rope-climbing system can allow a firefighter to scale a 30-story building in 30 seconds instead of 6 minutes. But to truly appreciate that kind of feat, you have to see it in action in the YouTube clip below.