If there’s one thing in life that never gets old, it’s grownup nerds trying to live out their childhood dreams of being real-life super heroes. Electrical engineer Allen Pan, who posts regularly on the Sufficiently Advanced YouTube account, has created a real-life replica of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. But that’s not the craziest part. No, the craziest part is that he’s successfully designed the giant hammer so that only he can lift it.
How did he accomplish this neat feat? Through some clever engineering and flat-out trickery. Inside the replica hammer he installed a transformer electromagnet that will lock the hammer firmly to the ground if it’s placed on a metal surface. To turn off the electromagnet, he installed a fingerprint scanner on the hammer’s handle that’s programmed only to accept his thumbprint. Thus, when he puts his hands around the hammer, the fingerprint scanner authenticates his identity and turns the electromagnet off.
The trick is that the hammer has to be placed on a metal surface to make it impossible for others to pick up. Pan sneakily placed it atop manhole covers on the street and asked passersby to try lifting it. Eventually, one clever mortal figured out how the hammer works and he slid it off the manhole cover and picked it up with ease.
To see more details about how Pan created this awesome replica of Mjolnir, including a complete list of parts he used to relay his fingerprint authentication data to the electromagnet, check out the video below.