Could a safe cracking robot become a thief’s best friend?
Robots are playing a wider part in our lives than, say 40 years ago. In 2017, we are closer to the world of robots depicted in sci-fi cartoons and sci-fi in live action form. They can clean our house, thanks to mobile phone apps. Some are being used for… doing what comes naturally – such as safe opening. Safe cracking robots could be another addition. A group of SparkFun Electronics hackers have demonstrated how a cheapo robot can crack a safe in no time at all. This was demonstrated at this year’s Def Con Conference in Las Vegas.
For the price of fifty or so medium lattes, their safe cracking robot only cost $200 to build (or €170.12). $20 (€17.01) went on the Arduino board and $40 (€34.02) was spent on its motor.
A thief’s best friend?
Its advanced abilities in cracking the safe could be a hit with thieves. Or for people who wish to spoil a lock picker’s attempt at opening a safe. Using a SentrySafe safe carrying three dials, it would a human being over a million attempts to crack the safe. With SparkFun’s robotic friend, down to a thousand. In less than thirty minutes, it cracked open the safe. Without the help of a human being.
Not only that, Robbie the Robot also found a glitch in the SentrySafe safe. Scary stuff. Especially if burglars hire safe cracking robots like this one seen in Las Vegas. Remember, this was only with a cheapo design; imagine what a more expensive model could do in future years.
Whether we shall be seeing them in Argos or on Amazon remains to be seen. Let’s hope not: apart from the security implications, this could take the fun out of safe cracking. Our locksmiths in Dublin are experts at safe openings so there will be no need for robots.
JR Security Devices, 14 August 2017.