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Samy Kamkar/YouTube

No combination lock can withstand this clever lock-picking robot

Your gym lockers and toolsheds are no longer secure.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on May 15, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 8:03 pm CDT

If you need more proof that the MasterLocks at your local hardware store do very little to protect your belongings, here’s a video of a lock-picking robot.

Samy Kamkar, who previously built a drone that finds and hijacks other drones within Wi-Fi range, describes his Comb Breaker as “a motorized, battery-powered, 3D printed, Arduino-based device that can crack any master combination lock in under 30 seconds.”

As TechCrunch explains:

“[It’s] a witch’s brew of geeky goodness: a stepper motor to spin the dial, a servo motor to tug the lock to see if it’s open yet, a 3D printed harness to hold everything in place, and an Arduino to handle all the math and tell the motors what they should be doing.”

If you live in Los Angeles—where Kamkar’s Twitter account says he resides—give up trying to secure your gym locker or the gate to your backyard with a combination lock. He’s probably already lurking nearby with his Combo Breaker, ready to see what you’ve been hiding.

H/T | Screengrab via Samy Kamkar/YouTube

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*First Published: May 15, 2015, 12:27 pm CDT