A pair of tech geeks, Allen Pan and Grant Imahara have created two of Marvel's iconic superhero gadgets. Captain America's shield (with working boomerang-ness) and Iron Man's gauntlet (with working balloon-melting lasers). And the best part is? You can build them too. Well, in theory.
In an event called Project Heroes, the two nerds challenged one another to create the weapons. Allen worked on the shield, while Grant managed the gauntlet. And while neither creation is quite a perfect match for their movie counterparts, they're pretty darn good. And probably pretty darn dangerous. But that's half the fun!
To create Captain America's vibranium shield, Allen used drones to get the job done. He started off using a Parrot AR.drone 1.0, but found it lacking. After spending 160 hours (almost a straight week) modifying a WLToys V262, Allen had something with a lot more punch. His custom bit of kit allowed him to control the shield with a motion-controlled remote strapped to his forearm. This meant that he could launch the shield, and that it could also track his arm movements and return right to him, just like Cap's own shield.
Grant's Iron Man gauntlet was a little closer to the real thing, if not quite as bombastic. He 3D printed everything he needed to make a realistic-looking gauntlet, as well as all the parts needed to make it work. He fitted it with a five-and-a-half watt pop-up blue laser; the most powerful kind you can legally buy online. It may not pack the same punch as the real thing, but Grant's gauntlet was still able to make a balloon explode in a shower of flames.
The duo show how they achieved their respective feats in a series of videos online. However, as neither gadget is exactly safe, they warn us: "Do not try this at your home, your work, or your friend's home. Even if you are an engineer,"
Still, just because you shouldn't do it, doesn't mean you couldn't. Just make sure your homemade murder machine doesn't end up taking anybody's eyes out. You probably can't afford the same lawyers that Tony Stark can.