Man, am I glad that Stuart didn’t know about this when we were in the seventh grade together. He was the resident school bully, always looking for ways to make my already difficult middle school existence even more challenging. If this little tool was around back then and in his hands, it would have been “goodbye Cali” and “hello foreign exchange student program”. But, thankfully, my dependence on the good ol’ Master Combination Lock that I used on my school locker was secure, along with my lunch, gym clothes and that note I passed to Jimmy in second period about how much I didn’t like Stuart.
Now? Not so much. We already know that Master Combination Locks are not the most secure way to keep people out of your stuff. If you need a quick solution to lock inexpensive things away, it’s still a good choice. But with technology advancing faster than you can blink, they aren’t good for much more than that.
Especially when Samy Kamkar is in the picture. He recently released the video below showing a robot he created that can unlock any Master Combination Lock in a matter of seconds. He created it using a 3-D printer (as a holding mechanism for everything), stepper motor (to spin the dial), servo motor (to pull up on the lock to see if it opens) and an Arduino (small computer) to tell the parts what to do.
I doubt your Average Joe walking down the street will have taken the time to create this and then use it on your bike lock to see if he can steal your bicycle. But it’s at least good to know how relatively easy and accessible it is to create this. And to know that now I need another solution to keep people out of my jar of Hot Tamales at work.