Video: Combo-Cracking Robot Makes Quick Work of Padlocks

The Lock-Cracking 'Bot

Cracking combination locks has never been so easy. A group of engineering students at Olin College of Engineering have built a robot that will solve any MasterLock combination in a under two hours by running through all the possible combinations. Just set it and forget it.

The hardware system is pretty simple: a clamp that holds the lock in place, a stepper motor that spins the combination, and a solenoid grabber that continuously pulls on the lock to see if it's open. What's more impressive is the LockCracker software the team built. Put the lock--that is, YOUR lock--in place, launch the software, and walk away. The software runs until the combination is solved; your left with an unlocked combo lock and the combination displayed on the screen.

How long it takes to crack a lock simply depends, but if you know any one of the numbers you can plug it/them into the software to significantly cut the time spent spinning the dial. And you do remember at least one of the numbers, right? Because that is your lock you're cracking--RIGHT?

[Olin via WIRED]