FRYEBURG, ME — A Fryeburg entrepreneur has received four Maine Technology Institute grants totaling almost $22,000 to develop a “less lethal” weapon: an air-powered grenade launcher that can shoot specialized projectiles at a safe velocity whether the target is 10 feet away or 300.
Kurt Boeker is hoping it someday becomes a police department staple and saves lives.
Boeker, a Web developer and programmer, was inspired by police riot videos on YouTube.
“I saw people getting really hurt by beanbags coming out of shotguns and 40-mm grenades—those types of weapons can fracture your skull or break your ribs and push them through your heart and lungs,” he said. “I just thought, ‘What the heck, we can’t do anything about that? There’s lots of technology available.'”
So 4 years ago, he got to work.
“Most guys my age build a car in the garage,” Boeker said, “but I don’t have a garage, so …”
He said it took about 2 years to develop a valve, software, and laser system for the laser and light detection and ranging-controlled, Variable Velocity, Less-Lethal Launcher.