LockCracker picks any combination lock

by Mark R

Have you ever been blocked from something by a combination lock that you didn’t know the combination for? I once had a locker in junior high school that someone put a combo lock on. Not one of my better days.

I’m guessing that something similar happened to this team of students at the Olin College of Engineering. They have created the LockCracker, which has the ability to pick any combination lock if one, two, or three of the numbers have been forgotten or not known.

You can watch a video of how it works after the jump. You will see that a clamp holds the lock in place while a solenoid yanks the loop. There is a stepper motor that turns all possible combinations, and I believe that the process takes a few hours before it will pop, assuming that the first few tries don’t do the trick.

That is something that we all might need at one point in time, but I am wondering if the LockCracker setup can accommodate a real-world situation where it would be needed. In other words, they might have to make a version of a LockCracker that works on that aforementioned situation when someone puts an unwanted combination lock on a locker. As of now, it looks like an apparatus that only works on singular combination locks. What good is that?

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