So could someone, in theory, build a microwave gun big enough to, say, stop a car dead in its tracks? Yes, and they already have: These guys built one capable of shutting down the electrical system of a car from 600 feet. away. That's right: Within a few seconds, this thing can disable any type of vehicle that relies on electricity -- that is, anything made within the last 35 or so years.
You know, it might be time to get the old Pontiac out of the garage.
You can tell why Christian Ristow, a former Hollywood animatronics expert, won Popular Mechanics' 2009 "Backyard Geniuses" contest for DiY projects just by taking a quick look at his picture:
It's because of his rugged good looks.
Ristow, who used to build puppets for Jim Henson's company, moved on to bigger and better things, by which we mean sitting in his yard building a giant robot called "Hand of Man." It's a 20-foot-tall gasoline-powered mechanical hand made primarily of steel girders and pneumatics. It's even controlled by a glove that mimics your real hand movements, like what kids in the 90s thought the Power Glove would do.
It can also crush your entire family in one movement!
Seriously, watch this video, where the Hand of Man crushes a barrel, followed by Ristow explaining that he also uses it to crush cars. When you've got an enormous remote-controlled hand, there's really nothing else to do with it besides create mayhem and destruction. This thing doesn't fuck around.
You can also use it to flip a 20-foot bird.
By the way, see that kid operating the hand in the video? Yeah, that's not Ristow's son or something like that: That's a random kid from the audience. Ristow intentionally made it easy to use so that anyone could operate it during demonstrations. Also, the Hand of Man is entirely mechanical, meaning it doesn't depend on electricity or computers. In other words, if it ever goes rogue, there's no way to turn it off.
In the meantime, Ristow will probably be working on the rest of the body, afterward proceeding to disguise it as a large Austrian bodybuilder.
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