If you’ve ever watched a Batman movie or played Just Cause, you’ve probably thought “wow, using a grappling gun would be so much fun.” The YouTuber Built IRL, named JT, thinks so too — and he’s been working on making it happen for the past year. The result is a hook gun that functions a lot like the ones we see in movies and games. You can watch JT’s Batman grappling gun video below.
JT testing his Batman Grappling Gun
As you will see in the video above, this new grappling weapon is more impressive than many previous experiments. For one thing, it’s self-contained — the entire unit fits snugly into the arm, including a CO2-powered blasting mechanism that fires a hook using a standard cartridge, and a very powerful 10,000W motor that is incredibly fast and can actually pull him into the air. (He’s showing off some of his previous historical attempts to make such gadgets, and it looks like his hook will win the grappling gun race.)
Unlike some other DIY grappling hooks, the JT tool can bring it back to earth too. He can control the direction and speed with a wheel near his thumb.
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Grappling Gun in Reality
You can also see some real-world limitations of the grapple gun, which Batman never faced because he was a work of fiction. The device may be difficult to control — partly because JT tries to use his thumb while supporting all of his weight with one hand. For the most part, he used it attached to the harness, so that the impact from being pulled into the air could spread across his body instead of being dragged away with one arm. (Just thinking about it hurts my shoulders.)
It also turns out that wrapping a grappling hook around whatever you’re trying to climb isn’t as easy as it looks on Overwatch or Titanfall 2. That’s especially true if it’s fired from something attached to your arm.
Despite the drawbacks, these devices still do really well for something so small, and it’s really great to see a project like this come together. He’s also working on the web shooter version of Spider-Man, and his success with a Batman grappling gun makes me think he might actually succeed.