Two things Batman is famous for not using are guns and superpowers, but the caped crusader is often seen using a wide variety of high-tech gadgets and tools in order to compensate. As part of his famous utility belt, most incarnations of Batman – both in print and on screen – are seen using items such as the Batarang, sonic weapons and the famous shark spray. Arguably Bruce Wayne’s most famous gadget – as well as the one every kid wanted to own – was, however, the grappling hook.
After spending their childhoods dreaming of zooming up the sides of tall buildings, a group of YouTubers and Batman fans have been building a series of items based on the weapons of the Dark Knight himself. Having already created realistic and lethal looking metal Batarangs – although not the ones used to assault a police car back in July – and a grappling device that allowed the user to rappel downwards, the guys set their focus on the more sizeable challenge of building a fully functional grappling hook gun that allowed users to both ascend and descend.
The channel, better known as The Hacksmith took the design for their previously-built rappelling device and modified it into a shape more suited for full scale grappling and included a laser sight for precision. A kevlar rope was attached, and a shroud 3D-printed to house it, before the critical element of an expanding gas launcher was added to propel the hook. Finally, an intimidating and Batman-worthy coat of black and gray paint was given to the device to provide that Gotham-chic appearance. With the home-made grappling hook passing the initial set of tests, the final stage was to introduce an ascension device that would allow the hook’s user to be lifted upwards to their intended destination.
As the video demonstrates, the device is far from a feeble imitation of its Batman counterpart. The launching device packs enough power to smash through a dry wall and the kickback leaves The Hacksmith presenter with a saw jaw. The clip’s tests show that the hook can reach distances of around 25m vertically and 45m horizontally and the hook proved successful at supporting the weight of a human man from a bridge or window ledge. The ascension element added later also proved capable at lifting a fully-grown adult at a fraction of its power. If any justice-loving billionaires did ever feel like taking to the streets to fight crime, they could certainly do a lot worse than this little number.
Before legions of Batman fans start reaching to make a late entry on their Christmas lists however, the grappling hook not only took many multiple hours to craft but also requires a significant amount of raw materials and expensive engineering equipment. As well as a 3D printer, the device’s creation involved a PCNC milling machine or laser cutter, welding gear and an eight horse-power ascension device. Not stuff usually found in Dad’s garage. With this in mind, it would take Bruce Wayne’s resources – or indeed a well-funded YouTube channel – to go and build your own version.
However, the fact that modern technology allows a group of Batman fans to successfully craft one of the character’s most impressive and famous gadgets is immensely exciting, both in terms of technological advancement and in the sense of comic book geeks living out their deepest superhero fantasies. Not everyone may have the funds and engineering knowledge to do what The Hacksmith has – but the video definitely gives hope to anyone still holding aspirations of zipping up the side of a building and dramatically landing through a fifth floor window.
Source: The Hacksmith