The spider folk, excluding their legs, are about the size of a golf ball but they are very numerous, they are highly venomous and, they're invading. Various tactics have been tried but the invaders have incredibly fast reflexes, are tough and can reproduce quickly by carrying off and cannibalising the dead bodies of their fellows. It has been discovered that sucking them into huge vacuum cleaners is an effective way of disabling them.

To begin with they didn't perceive vacuum cleaners as a threat until they were in the area of 'suction' and by then it was too late. They aren't very intelligent but they are now getting wise to this.


Can I focus the 'suction' to give a greater range. If not how else can I increase the effective range of the vacuum cleaners at a distance from the nozzle?

Is this even theoretically possible? I believe blowers can be focused but suckers?


I can find discussions of increasing effectiveness at the nozzle but I haven't yet been able to discover anything about increasing (or indeed focusing) it at a distance from the nozzle.


Please do not suggest other weapons. Of course these are being trialled as well but I particularly want to focus on vacuum cleaners.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why the downvotes? As ridiculous as the fluff is, the question seems to be simple and legitimate. "How can you increase the range of suction on a weaponized vacuum". This requires a physics answer on how choked flow and airpressure works. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Feb 25, 2019 at 20:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I can't answer for anyone else, but for me, I can see three clear reasons why someone might downvote this. (1) The title does not actually serve its purpose of summarizing the question being asked. (2) The question does not show much in terms of prior research (see the downvote button tooltip; "this question does not show any research effort" is right at the start of the canonical downvote reason). (3) The fluff quite literally accounts for some 85% of the question. (Quick check says the actual question is a little over 100 characters, out of the question's >900.) $\endgroup$
    – user
    Feb 25, 2019 at 20:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @a CVn - (1) Please suggest an improvement to the title - I thought it was okay (2) I am usually good at searching online but I was at a loss for a search term to describe focusing suction (3) Are we now reduced to counting words in order to find something to complain about? I find compact questions much more appealing than long rambling ones. I purposely separated off the 'fluff' so it can be ignored or skimmed if preferred. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2019 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ "Please suggest an improvement to the title - I thought it was okay" Well, how about something like "How can I improve suction efficiency of a vacuum cleaner at range"? What you're pointing the nozzle at is utterly irrelevant for answering that question. The mass involved may be relevant, though you don't specify that; only size. When writing a title, and for that matter when writing a question, you might want to focus on what's needed to answer, rather than making the question some five times longer than it needs to be just because you have what you feel is a neat idea for a story element. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Feb 25, 2019 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @a CVn - I think this has turned into a Meta discussion. If you want to take it further please start a question over there. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2019 at 21:08

3 Answers 3


Yes, there is a way to improve the range of a vacuum cleaner, but the question has to go to the dogs to find it.

Someone actually studied the dog's ability to pick up a scent, with some surprising results. Dogs are amazing at collecting scents, and a group of researchers ran a few experiments to see if they could figure out why.

The answer turned out to be, in part, on the physiology of the dogs' nose, and on their HUFF before the SNUFF. Dogs do not just sniff in, they huff out first. This is not just to clear their lungs, it serves a purpose.

The outward huff is designed to bracket the target air sample, with a higher pressure 'curtain', so when they snuffed, the air was already disturbed and in motion in the correct direction.

So improving the range of your vacuum bug snatcher would require a jet of air expelled from the nozzle in a vortex, that would surround the target, at the same time as a low pressure system was drawing the air back into the tube. Vortexes are amazingly stable for very long distances, and can contain a lot of energy in the swirling air mass. It would be quite difficult for the spider to escape, if caught in the center of one. It would be a matter of timing - first the vortex, then the negative air pressure. I am not sure if a series of air vortices, one after the other, could be produced to make a longer 'air tube' which would draw the prey back. I am not sure which way the torus of air rotates, or if the direction matters.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow - never expected that. You should patent this idea! There's a lot of people scared of spiders, I'm sure they would buy it. I'm tempted to try and make a 'vortex tube' myself. It would have a lot of uses. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2019 at 11:11

I don't know if there is a way to focalize the effect of a vacuum cleaner to a long range...
If only the brightest minds of humanity had developed a tool that could immobilize them until our vacuum-welding soldiers (the vacuumfantry) approach them enough to aspire them...

But wait, our scientists have discovered the ultimate weapon against the spider-folk!

enter image description here

enter image description here

Our valorous soldiers will bravely catch and immobilize the spider-folk from safe distance (thanks to the long handle), then the vacuumfantry will intervene and aspire them to their doom!


Is there a possibility of weaponizing vacuums in a more portable form? Think portable vacuum "guns" with upgradable parts, including batteries and motors. We have Dirt Devils already, just find a way to improve upon that design. You should be able to focus the suction on a smaller hole to increase the power, so you'd have to be accurate. That way you can sneak up to spiders and suck them up without them being suspicious or scared away from the noise, because it will be too late. Depending on how many spiders there are, you can attach a "bowl" to the "barrel" of the vacuum gun to trap the spider until you can turn the machine on to suck it up.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .