With his backyard teeming with mosquitoes, Allen Pan found inspiration in a TED Talk by Nathan Myhrvold for a machine that zapped mosquitoes out of the air with lasers. While that never came to fruition, Pan and laser expert StyroPyro came up with something simpler – a sort of fly swatter that uses a pair of powerful laser beams instead of a mesh screen.
Awesome Allen Pan
Engineer and maker Allen Pan will be the first to tell you he’s not exactly the Man of Steel. That didn’t stop him from taking on some of the beefiest arm wrestlers on Muscle Beach. But Allen gave himself an advantage – a custom exoskeleton to dramatically increase his arm strength. Can it help him beat the pros without ripping off his own arm?
We’re most creative as children because our imaginations have yet to be restricted by things like cost, practicality, and safety. Allen Pan asked his audience to relay some of their craziest childhood inventions and made his best effort to make them real. He started with shoes for climbing on ceilings; then, things get really dangerous.
Moon Shoes are toys that put a little extra spring in kids’ steps using elastic bands. Since they don’t really make kids jump much higher, maker Allen Pan decided it was time to create a more powerful version. After experimenting with springs and explosives, he settled on compressed air to propel them.
Millions of years ago, evolutionary changes caused snakes to lose their legs. Engineer and snake lover Allen Pan thought thinks that these reptiles should have kept their limbs, so he put on his thinking cap and developed a robotic exosuit that a snake can slide into and walk around in. But will the snake accept its new abilities?
Allen Pan is a big Mythbusters fan – but he thinks they got one of their experiments wrong. In 2008 Adam, Jamie, and Grant attempted to create a stun gun that shoots electricity through water and failed. Allen came up with a different approach, playing with laminar flow to keep power flowing through two streams of water.
Those massive swords you see in anime look cool, but they’d be totally impractical in the real world thanks to their weight and shape. But that didn’t stop Allen Pan from coming up with a solution. After asking his pal Rob to fabricate a Buster Sword, Allen bought himself an upper-body exoskeleton to help him wield the hefty blade.
“I’m not gonna ship you guys something you can’t hurt yourself with.” Sufficiently Advanced made a modded NERF gun that shoots electrified darts. His latest version features contact points wide enough to momentarily shock people. Check out the build at 0:58, and the tests at 5:23.
Allen Pan of Sufficiently Advanced teamed up with fellow engineering geek Junie Genius to create the ultimate anger management device – a head-mounted gadget that shoots flames whenever its wearer lets out a shout. Nope, this thing doesn’t seem dangerous at all.
Maker Allen Pan of Sufficiently Advanced loves the look of plasma blade style weapons found in science fiction. He teaches us a bit about the physics of plasma, and how electricity can be shaped and contained into a beam. Check out Tommy Callaway’s plasma sword here.