Anybody who saw Captain America: Civil War this weekend (a.k.a. everybody and their mom — what better Mother’s Day gift than some serious superhero ass kicking?!) witnessed Captain America wield his shield like the super solider with a governmental-control chip on his shoulder that he is. And watching him bounce and boomerang that vibranium gong of pain was so thoroughly delightful, one can only wish that somebody would build one in real life already.
Oh wait! Kotaku recently reported on YouTube’s The Hacksmith, who did build one already. And while it’s not made of vibranium — or able to fly like Allen Pan’s can — it still utilizes a duo of high-powered magnets to help it jump and stick to its user like the real deal.
The Hacksmith, a Canadian engineer who decided to quit his day job and focus on building unique inventions, working prototypes of superhero-inspired gear, and pro-tip videos, centered his latest efforts on replicating Cap’s shield; specifically its ability to be sucked up from off the ground, and to be thrown. And in order to make the shield — which itself was built by MachinaProps — move like Cap’s can, two commercially available electromagnets were used, each one of which, when charged by 72 volts of electricity, can wrestle about 800 pounds of matter from the tug of Earth’s gravity.
While the magnets are quite powerful, and the shield is doubtlessly a work of art, there are still a few downsides to this working prototype. The biggest one, as the Hacksmith notes, is due to the fact that magnetic force decreases exponentially over distance. This means that even though the magnets may be powerful, their ability to attract metallic objects or other magnets still only works over a few feet of distance. The Hacksmith adds that in order to replicate the distance Cap’s shield works at in the movies, “you’d probably need an arc reactor just to power [them].”
The shield is still throwable however (thanks to the ability to de-electrify the magnets via a button on the shield’s handle), which means the shield can be sucked up off the ground, and then tossed like an avenging boss. We only get a taste of that in this video however, although the Hacksmith says more of that throwing action is coming up soon. Until then, we can enjoy the epic struggle that is friend of the Hacksmith trying to pull Cap’s shield off Hacksmith’s forearm (something that happens at the Avengers’ Mansion from time to time?):
What are your thoughts on this real-life, heavily magnetized version of Cap’s shield? Are you drawn to its beauty, or repelled by its limitations? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Images: the Hacksmith