For all of the terrible damage and dismemberment that robots will surely bring in the near future, they also have their uses. Imagine taking a robot with you on a heist and having it crack a combination safe for you. That robot could make you rich. Or land you in jail.
I’m sure that electrical engineer and founder of Sparkfun Nathan Seidle would never use his creation to steal, but he could if he wanted to. He recently sat down with Wired to explain how and why he built this custom robot that is able to crack a SentrySafe combination lock safe in just fifteen minutes.
Basically, when his wife gave him this already locked safe as a gift with no combination, he built this safecracking robot to get inside. Using a combination of known exploits, he was able whittle down the possibilities from a million to a much smaller subset of about 1,000 possible combinations. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before the robot opened the door.
[via The Awesomer]
Even Thor’s hammer, the Mjolinr, is breakable, but the Ottolock isn’t! While most bike locks or travel locks are made from metal (making them somewhat reliable, but bulky), the Ottolock uses one of the most light yet powerful polymers known to man. Kevlar. The same material used in bulletproof vests, the Kevlar framework of the Ottolock allows it to be lightweight, but virtually indestructible. No amounts of strength can break apart the Ottolock and even cutting tools like shears, or padlock breaking equipment can cut through metal, but not the Ottolock. In fact, here, watch this video of a blowtorch try to melt the Ottolock and fail miserably!
The simple and immortal Ottolock comes in 3 outdoorsy colors, rolls up and fits in your pocket, and weighs under 115 grams. With the ability to lock anything from cycles, to doors, to even your travel gear, the Ottolock is a robber’s worst nightmare!
Designer: OTTO DesignWorks
BUY IT HERE: $55
We all have stuff that we want to write down that we don’t want others to see. That stuff might be your to-do list, corporate details, or perhaps a list of the cutest girls in math class. The catch is that if you want biometric sort of security to protect your private thoughts or corporate data, you need to use a smartphone for your notes. Smart devices are great, but sometimes you really just want to write with a pen or pencil.
This is where the very cool FPLife Lockbook fingerprint-locking notebook comes in. This is a small notebook about the size of a day planner. It has multiple types of paper inside including plain lined paper, blank sheets, and a sheet with dots that I don’t quite understand. The paper inside isn’t the big draw to this notebook, it’s the locking system that scans your fingerprints.
The fingerprint scanner is on the spine of the notebook, where it opens and all you need to do to unlock it is place your finger on the scanner and slide the lock. You can scan two fingerprints from your own hand or from two people. I let my daughter have it because 12-year-old girls apparently have secrets. I can read those secrets if I need to though because my fingerprint is in the scanner’s memory as well.
The fingerprint scanner is easy to program or reset, but you have to get the notebook open to do so. Once open, you can use the included tool or a pen to press a little button near the scanner workings for three seconds and then scan your finger to store a new print.
The entire process takes all of 10 seconds to complete. I love the idea of this notebook for people in the medical field. I am a Respiratory Therapist and I see people in the home care setting. I need to take notes on occasion and with HIPAA, I need those notes to be somewhere people who aren’t authorized can’t see them. This notebook is perfect, I can take it with me into a home take notes and if I lock it to go to the car to get something else, no one can open it and read information they shouldn’t.
The maker says that the fingerprint sensor is good for more than 10 million uses. Power comes from an internal rechargeable battery that you charge with the same USB cable you use for most Android phones, a cable is included and it’s a nice one. I don’t know exactly how long that battery will stay charged. What I do know is that my daughter routinely goes a week or more between chargings using the notebook at school “because it’s awesome” for taking notes multiple times per day.
The only real downside I could see to this notebook is your battery going dead while you are out, leaving you unable to open it. You can charge the battery without opening the notebook though, so you could just plug it into your Android charger and wait a few minutes to gain access if the battery went dead.
The FPLife notebook comes in several colors of leather and can be had in a lace material as well. I can highly recommend this for medical pros who need to take secure notes, or for 12-year-olds that don’t want that kid sitting next to them to copy their notes. You can pre-order the Lockbook now on Indiegogo for $39 to $59(USD).