• Captain America: Civil War (2016) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
This innovative arm brace lets engineer and Tony Stark wannabe James Hobson catch a shield like Captain America.
Bianca Soldani

11 May 2016 - 1:19 PM  UPDATED 11 May 2016 - 1:19 PM

Who wouldn’t want to have super hero powers? Well one tech-savvy fan has pretty much given himself one by building a working Captain America shield.

By his own description, James Hobson is “a backyard engineer aspiring to be a real life Tony Stark” and his latest creation is pretty impressive.

With two electromagnets running at 66 volts to attract a mind-boggling lifting power of 660 kilograms each, James has manufactured an arm brace that can catch and throw a replica aluminium shield.

And while it looks seamless enough in his tests, there is some seriously hardcore tech behind it.

The electromagnets used are industrial strength 12 volt ones which are each capable of lifting 120 kilograms, however James runs them at a significantly higher voltage to amass a much more potent lifting strength but can only hold it for a matter of seconds before they overheat and burn out.

But even with this level of power, he can only attract the shield from a relatively short distance as magnetic force dramatically decreases as the space between two magnetic objects increases.

This powerhouse is controlled via a hand-held button built into the arm brace and powered with three lithium polymer battery packs.

Meanwhile, shin and knee pads positioned underneath the brace help cushion the impact of the catch.
The shield itself was built separately by Machina Props who sell the full scale, 100 per cent metal design that retails for AU$1,200.

Amazingly, the brace only took James one day to put together and he tells SBS Movies it's great fun to use.

"It feels fantastic using it, [it's the] first gadget I've made that actually makes me kinda feel like a super hero," he says.

"It allows me to pick up big pieces of steel that would be awkward to lift otherwise, or I wouldn't normally have the wrist strength to hold them out, but with the bracer, I can!"

However, the one superpower James would like to have in real life isn't one he can build in his workshop as he explains regenerative healing/implied immortality would be his top pick.

"I figure I've got what it takes to be Tony Stark, so why not that plus a real super power!?" he says.

The Marvel-inspired experiment isn’t the only one the engineer has tried and he’s previously created working Wolverine claws and a weight-lifting exoskeleton based on the one Matt Damon wore in Elysium.

Next on the agenda will be an Iron Man test flight suit (should all go to plan), and James also hopes to do Thor's Hammer, Black Panthers claws, the stun baton from Star Wars, and possibly even a power loader from Aliens.

You can keep up with his work here


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