Introduction: Electromagnetic Climbing Like a Spiderman

Picture of Electromagnetic Climbing Like a Spiderman

The 49th video came up with a very original and extreme idea. Our primary aim was to make a tool that would enable us to climb on a metallic building and generally on anything made of metal. So, as it is obvious, the fundamental part of our idea was to be based on electromagnets.

Step 1: Electromagnets

Picture of Electromagnets

Particularly, we decided to make four electromagnets placed one in each leg and in each arm. Then, we made a bag filled with batteries that would provide energy to our system while the switches would manage our pace. In particular, we took four old microwave ovens that we found in a rubbish bin and we used their transformers for our construction. Next, after cutting the transformers in the middle and only keeping the first spool, we managed to make four powerful electromagnets. With constant experiments, we achieved to shrink the size of the electromagnets as much as possible as well as to increase their power. Also, we drilled the electromagnets in order to be able to place them on a basis and on the human limbs.

Step 2: Adjustment

Picture of Adjustment

Regarding the electromagnets that we created for the upper limbs, we made metallic handles that would be used to place our hands to pull the weight of the body upwards. At the point of the handle, we chose a metallic tube with small dimensions in order to have less weight, good hold, convenient grip to support the body and space to put the switches that would control the pace.

Regarding the lower limbs, we made a basis, where the shoes of the user will be placed in a way that the most load of the weight will be supported on the tiptoe in order to leave the electromagnet unaffected from the constant increase of the body’s weight. Therefore, when the human steps on a particular point that will be located on a further point of its tiptoe, the multiplication of the load will not be a problem.

Moreover, to keep the electromagnet stable in the shoe, we made special points in which scratch belts were passing through to ensure the stability and the adjustment in any size of a shoe. For the handles, we used one of these scratch belts that keep the handle stable in the user’s hands from its wrist while at the lower limbs, we used two belts in each limb to ensure stability.

In order to make our mechanism easier to use, we used a push-off switch. Thus, as long as we do not press our switches, the electromagnets are activated while pressing them, the electromagnets get deactivated.

Initially, we connected the left arm with the right leg and the right arm with the left leg as it is the normal gait of human. However, we realized that it was easier to connect the function of the right arm’s electromagnet with the right leg’s one and respectively for the left limbs as well.

Step 3: Climbing

Picture of Climbing

Whatismore, to prove that our construction functions properly, we put metallic blades of 6 meters long on a two-storey building and by using 4 batteries of 12volts, we climbed on the top of this building.

Although, the climbing on a flat wall of a building reminds us a science-fiction movie like the ‘Spiderman’, the particular construction was very interesting and adventurous to be made. Even if our construction is the only original design, is efficiently functional but it definitely has the potential of improvement regarding its weight, comfort and functionality. The point at the handles where the switches were placed is quite convenient and functional.

Step 4: Video

Considering all the above, if we were in a place to reconstruct such a construction, we would pay more attention on the more ergonomic construction of the bases where the shoes are placed. Even if the particular construction has no use besides providing us entertainment, carrying out this project we realized how useful the electromagnets can be and how powerful they are in lifting great loads of weight by just getting energy from some batteries.

Finally, we are completely satisfied and thrilled by the adrenalin given to us making the particular construction.


almostran (author)2016-11-09

i like kit weight, please?

KellinC (author)2016-10-25

Whoah. That is massively cool.

Wynfordeagle (author)2016-10-16

What was the power source? I know it was batteries but how many, what type and what voltage?

SeanM124 (author)Wynfordeagle2016-10-18

Voltage=4 12 volt batteries, or 48 volts

jimmytvf (author)2016-10-18

I'm a follower of those guys for a while. They make all the stuff for fun. And all the stuff they make, they make it awesome. Of course there's some camera tricks on the video, as nobody wants to fall off a wall at 6 meters high with no harness, and the battery is not forever, when the battery starts to run out of juice, say goodbye. But, on the other hand, we got Colin Furze's channel, who proved with two microwave transformers, could walk upside down across a steel beam without cuts.

florianblau (author)jimmytvf2016-10-18

Can you give me the Link of Colin Furze's channel, where I can find the climb?

florianblau (author)florianblau2016-10-18

Found it, nice chanel, funny guy, found as well the magnettic walk.

The Difference: 1. look at the size of the batteries and compare them with the little back pack in the above video. 2. he hangs on a horizontal beam of metal, so no leverage and no sliding down, that makes a big differnce. If you have a magnetboard at home, try it out. Try to pull a magnet directly away from the bord - very difficult. And see in comparison how much more easy it is, to first tilt it and use the leverage or to just slide it off....

Anyway, why the guys not just uploading a one minute take of the climb? Cause it never hapened the way they claim it to have happend...

I like magicians, but when their trick is revealed they should admit!!! "CREATORS, I am caling out for you, ADMIT and be a Sportsman, that can loose!!!!"

florianblau (author)2016-10-18

Fake!!!! Video is obviously cut in a way to disguise that at least one stand is always attached by a screw or something else, but not by magnetic power. There is not one continuous take shown where all 4 limbs are moving. It is a lot effort to cut exactly this way and can just be done intentionally to disguis. It is not done by accident.

It would be easy for the "might be inventors" to upload a continuous take showing all 4 limbs moving to quiet me.

Instead doing so, I have been flagged and my comment has been taken of....!? What is the flagging policy on this platform? I would like to ask that my comments are put back?

Aditionally I have been attacked at last with a racial comment - I might be "Indian". So, what has my nationality to do with this argument here? Show respect!!! Unfortionately I am German, but it shouldn't matter.

I have studied some engineerening, later on I studied film and was allways good with the technical aspects of camera and editing. And at the present I have my own company for industrial climbing, therefore my serious interest in this subject.

Where can I complain about my comments beeing taken off?

MikeM455 (author)florianblau2016-10-18

Alright fool. You show respect first of all. Nobody cares what experience you have, you couldn't do this. And as for comments being deleted, if they were deleted, nobody wants to read them. Therefore no reason to restore them. I haven't seen much from these guys but like them, I like to take things already in existence and create something new. Even if it isn't for personal gain or fame or wealth. It is still fun to experiment. Don't hate because you didn't come up with it.

florianblau (author)MikeM4552016-10-18

I don't hate, I just remark, that this is most probable fake! I do like as well "to take things already in existence and create something new". Very much indeed. SPEACIALLY, "if it isn't for personal gain or fame or wealth".

I didn't offend anyone, but I get continuously offended, this time being called "fool"....?

Maybe the term "might be inventors" could be seen as offensive, I rather thought this expression to be technical correct. But I will take the "might be" out, if that is still possible.

I keep restoring myself, cause I do believe in the freedom of speech and I don't like to be censored.

It is cheap rethorics to claim "I am the majority, you shut up". Cheap in two ways, first because even the minority, should be permitted to voice their opinion, secondly, you don't know the opinion of the rest, you just claim, in order to create a power imbalance, putting yourself on the strong side. Speak for yourself and only for yourself!

Censorship is always a bad idea and dictatorship by the majority likewise!

florianblau (author)florianblau2016-10-18

Unfortionately I can't edit my own post, so think the "might be" to be not there, I do adress the "creators", since they created something, but pretty sure not, what they claim.

Hey "creators" can't you upload one full take or at least a one minute take of the climb? Com on Guys!?

ivan.toopi (author)2016-10-16

my maglock uses 12v hold 180kgs of force 350lbs ish. Dude, you're saying an array powered 4-5 maglocks can't hold? florian you're a .....sceptic. You gotta be a troll.......

florianblau (author)ivan.toopi2016-10-17

"You gotta be a troll..." - don't use this cheap rhetorics to discredit thinking.

comented above the directors/"maybecreators" are still arround and can
just upload one take with all four lims are moving. That done I will
quiet down.

ivan.toopi (author)florianblau2016-10-17

Maybe you can have faith in humanity. Btw, my point was this, A video proves nothing. It especially does not prove that you CANNOT make a maglock climber system. You're DEFINATELY a troll and I flag you. Where you from? India? Again, a video proves nothing except there was a video. A video can no more discredit a theory than you're opinion. I deny evidence of this video, of which, I have never there. Why haven't I seen it? cause it doesn't matter....I've seen people do triple barell rolls on movies....does that mean cars don't crash in real life? OF COURSE NOT. Check your thinking, turn your brain on.

Tystud (author)florianblau2016-10-17

Dude, watch the video more carefully a second time. There are a couple times all four limbs move in a single cut. 5:12-5:20 for one. And if you start at 4:49 you can see three limbs move in one cut.

Tystud (author)2016-10-17

You don't see a full detach - reattach, then detach - reattach. You see his left side is loose, and can see it reattach, then you can see the right side detach before the next cut in the video. Deny it all you want, that makes movement of four limbs in one cut. You can point out all the cuts you want, but they happened before or after the four movements.

I'll dude you all day bro.

JesseM2 (author)2016-10-17

Awesome Instructable and very cool video and creation! I'd just be worried about it somehow running low or loosing power and falling unexpectedly! Ouch!

a-morpheus (author)2016-10-16

Besides being an amazing creation, the video is really well-done--clear images, quick-paced but showing all relevant details, music & making sounds mixed to best effect; really good, fun to watch.

Does anyone know what kind of welder that is? I've been thinking of getting a welder to do similar work but don't really know what would be good.

Kaljakaaleppi (author)a-morpheus2016-10-16


a-morpheus (author)Kaljakaaleppi2016-10-17

Kaljakaaleppi & Invention1 ...thanks. I think I'll have to read up more on it...all the various methods MIG/MAG/TIG/etc. seem kind of complicated to choose among to my beginner's eye.

Invention1 (author)a-morpheus2016-10-16

MIG and/or TIG can be a very awesome welding system. MIG is a little cheaper welder, and thus more popular, there are things you can do with TIG that won't work with MIG. First time I tried a MIG, I sat down and signed my name in a piece of steel, I bought the used rig right then and there, probably my most expensive impulse buy ever. Never regretted it.

Yonatan24 (author)a-morpheus2016-10-16

*I'll have to disagree with you on the music part...

dbenedetto (author)2016-10-16

Florian's point is a good one. But the frequent cuts in the video merely reveals amaturish directing not a fake performance.

florianblau (author)dbenedetto2016-10-17

Sorry no, I don't believe that is the result of amaturish directing. It is just to much of a pattern. Not in one of all this cuts all four limbs are moving...?

And anyway the "amaturish directors" are still around, it is a fresh video, they can just ad one single glimps of a take in which all 4 limbs are moving and I shut up and the (most obvious) doubts are gone. The takes are in the can, if the event at all has taken place the way they claim. They just have to upload one...?

wdsparrow (author)2016-10-16

Nice, thanks for living the dream! I know many of us have thought of doing it. Very cool. Did you ever calculate how long you could run the magnets before the batteries would give out?

RowanCant (author)2016-10-16

Why would it be fake? Electromagnets can lift cars. Cranes use them. Why wouldn't four fairly massive electromagnets running on 48volts be able to hold a person climbing carefully up a steel railing? If you are going to call it fake, you might need to describe a little more than the fact that he cut it all up nicely because he is a good welder and he can join it all up really strongly and really well.

nealalan (author)2016-10-16

If you live in a highrise.****Do not try this at home!****

Invention1 (author)nealalan2016-10-16

**** Or anywhere else either! ***** Awesome hack, not too safe, no backup rope. I wouldn't do it without a belay. Impressive!

RowanCant (author)2016-10-16

Might pay to have a battery level indicator somewhere on this contraption. There's nothing worse than being halfway up the Burj Khalifa and having the batteries run out!

Invention1 (author)RowanCant2016-10-16

I hate it when that happens!

Invention1 (author)2016-10-16

I've been involved in some rockclimbing, and also adapting rockclimbing equipment to building inspection/safety. Two things make me nervous about this. First, in ladder safety they insist three points of contact at all times. Only move one point of contact (hand/foot). In this case we're moving two attachment points. It would be safer if the hand and foot were independently switched. That way only move the hand, then switch the left foot and move it, then switch the right foot and move it, etc.

Second, what about battery/electronics failure? Pretty much catastrophic. We do something similar in climbing with ropes and a gizmo called a jumar. It only takes two jumars to climb a rope, but there is always a third that simply attaches to the harness. I used such a rig just yesterday to climb a tree - the third attachment point was needed just to have a rest every once in a while. Many ladder systems on tall objects like power plant stacks have a rail in the middle where a simple ratcheting safety cam attaches. You can't fall even if you let go of both hands and your feet slip out, the cam on the third rail stops your fall. If one of the steel rails you are climbing is such a rail, (or both of them) then a mechanical safety could stop a catastrophic power failure. Nice hack guys!

AlexRandomkat (author)2016-10-16

One thing I would add to the design would be a very thin layer of rubber to the face of the electromagnet, that way it would slip less on metal surfaces if the magnet is running out of power (although that could be a kind of safety feature, if you run out of power you start slipping down the building instead of just falling off)

michael47362 (author)2016-10-16

If you were REALLY doing it like Spiderman, you would do none of the things you are showing. Spiderman does it on his hands and knees across the floor that looks like a wall and then the camera is flipped to make it look like a wall.

CarlinC1 (author)2016-10-16

Wow that's pretty awesome! Nice job on the build! I never would have thought it was that easy. You're getting a lot of builds based on old microwaves :)

Aneriah (author)2016-10-16

Hey man this is exactly what I have been looking for I love it. What is the total cost of it though? Thank you so much.

budhaztm (author)2016-10-13

I'm glad to see somebody besides the mythbusters trying this. that is just so cool. they should feature you on a revisit of that myth lol

hedgesci (author)budhaztm2016-10-13

I have seen a few things on mythbusters that they said was a myth but me and my friends proved it wrong. some of the things on mythbusters had to say it was a myth so that people wouldn't hurt themselves.

Hazardous Heart (author)hedgesci2016-10-16

Right, like the hydrogen engine

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq (author)2016-10-16

I would pay some attention to the provision of a safety rope.

laith mohamed (author)2016-10-15

Wow crazy experiment and good work .

seamster (author)2016-10-13

Whoa, this is amazing!

I appreciate the quick pace of the video. Thanks for sharing how you put this all together! :)

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