Photo: Maker Faire
For the past decade, one exhibit has been front and center at New York’s annual Maker Faire. The DIY festival wouldn’t be complete with the Hand of Man. Modeled after a human’s right hand, this hydraulic structure measures in at 26 feet long. What does one do with a 26-foot long human hand? Crush cars, of course!
Controlled via a rad looking gauntlet from an elevated platform, each finger moves individually from its default metal horns pose. Public demonstrations run throughout the day during the event along with certain members of the public getting a try. Even children can feel the power of a giant mecha in 2018.
A quick search of YouTube reveals several home videos of the hand in action during this year’s festivities. If I had to pick just one, I’d choose William’s clip. You get a good look at the strength of the hand and the gauntlet controlling it. To be honest, it might also be because you can hear a marching band perform Rockwell’s classic Somebody’s Watching Me in the background.
If you haven’t heard of Maker Faire, it’s a string of continuous worldwide events celebrating the DIY spirit. In recent year, this has meant loads of robots and 3D printers being revealed for the first time. For a rundown of some of the more interesting installations at this year’s event, you can head over to Hackaday‘s field report.
Watching several videos of the Hand of Man, I’m reminded of the fake news footage that sometimes accompanies the opening credits of futuristic films. Much like the Wright Brothers took to the skies in a wooden marvel, this mess of pipes is a stepping stone towards the future. We may never reach the dazzling and refined heights of Gundam or Titanfall. But, as long as humans are still around, we’ll strive to make huge machines that are only good for crushing.