Electrical engineer Allen Pan created his very own version of Thor’s Mjolnir hammer and went around pranking clueless passersby on Venice Beach in California. As you can see in the YouTube video posted below, a bunch of curious beach goers who tried to prove they were worthy of lifting the device managed to fail spectacularly at it.
Well, there was one smart dude who figured out that it was some sort of magnetic hammer and found a way to pass ‘the test.’ Most others were left puzzling over why they couldn’t lift it, not knowing about the components hidden within it. Pan started with a transformer electromagnet (sourced from a microwave oven) to produce a magnetic field.
This means the magic of the mighty hammer can only be seen if it’s kept on a slab of metal. But without the addition of the 12v SLA batteries, Arduino Pro Mini board, solid state relay and capacitive touch sensor, Pan’s creation would have just been a large magnet which sticks to metal.
Using his engineering skills, Pan added a fingerprint scanner in the base area of the hammer. He next programmed it to recognize merely his thumbprints to make sure only he would be able to raise it. Over all of these components went a cool leather layering for the handle and a pretty neat looking metal shell for the head of the device.
Of course, the Mjolnir replica doesn’t act like a boomerang when flung from Pan’s hands. But here’s to hoping he’ll get there some day! For now, the hammer works when by activating the magnets when anyone other than its ‘worthy owner’ attempts to lift it off any random metal surface it’s placed on.