The real life Q
Meet Ramsey Faragher, chief gadget creator for the UK’s secret agents and military experts. Now, pay attention...
Posted: 18 Feb 2013
We could go on. How about an armoured personnel carrier that sends data - and power - through solid steel? With cameras on the outside sending images wirelessly, you could do away with letterbox windows that attract more bullets than light. And what if the whole vehicle was then skinned in a special stealth material, which, when examined by enemy radar, can turn a Chieftain into a herd of cows? Or make it look like an original Volkswagen Beetle? For a final layer of protection, troops could lose bulky flak jackets and instead wear a vest containing a special gooey centre, which hardens on impact with projectiles. On close inspection, it appears to be a sort of bulletproof custard. Weird.
Ramsey's team even works with a human performance division to make sure all this tech is usable by actual humans. Psychologists, astrophysicists, chemists, professors of everything... they're all here - about 180 of them - and they rarely stop. Some clock out, then sneak back to their desks to dream up more stuff. And sometimes Ramsey will be riding home when he gets a call from someone important in the MoD. They need a thing invented, quickly, and would he mind cycling back to the office to knock something up by the morning? Sometimes, it's a matter of life and death, with troops on standby for the new kit.