Engineer Builds Glitter Bomb Trap for Package Thieves Out of HomePod Box

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Apr 12, 2001
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Package thievery has only increased in recent years as more people shop online for large-scale gifts. Unfortunately, sometimes there's not much you can do about it if you don't have an outside camera and alarm system watching your home, and sometimes even that isn't enough. Apple engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober decided to go the extra mile recently to stop rampant package thieving at his house, building a complex glitter bomb and stink bomb trap hidden in the box of Apple's HomePod.


In a new video, Rober explains a bit of the early development of the trap, which took six months, multiple design iterations, and help from his friend Sean Hodgins to help build the smaller pieces of electronics inside the so-called "revenge package." Hodgins posted an in-depth video about building the glitter bomb as well, which you can check out here.

The brain of the trap is a custom printed circuit board with an accelerometer, which checks to see if it's left a set geofenced area of Rober's house when it's been moved. If it has, four included Android smartphones wake up and start recording using their wide-angle lenses, allowing Rober to capture every angle of the package thief's reaction when the top of the HomePod box is removed.


Someone stole a package from me. Police wouldn't do anything about it so I spent the last 6 months engineering up some vigilante justice. Revenge is a dish best served fabulously. Vid link- https://t.co/9OjD6ETdbZ pic.twitter.com/u4o0doWglr - Mark Rober (@MarkRober) December 18, 2018
To top it all off, Rober included a mechanism that sprays fart spray into the area five times every 30 seconds once the lid has been removed. The engineer said that this ensured he could recover the package because the thief would likely end up throwing it outside of their car or home in frustration, but even if they didn't all four Android phones had LTE data plans and automatic cloud uploads. This way, he was going to be able to recover the video footage even if the package was permanently lost.

Rober even placed a reference to the film Home Alone directly on the package's shipping label, but it goes unnoticed by every thief in the video. Eventually, the engineer shares a collection of reaction shots from the glitter bomb's cameras, and once it begins working for him on multiple occasions, he passes it on to his friends who have also had online packages stolen from their porches. In every case recorded, the thieves eventually ditch the package without realizing there are four smartphones in it, and Rober is able to recover it.

You can check out more of Rober's science and design-themed videos on his YouTube channel.

Article Link: Engineer Builds Glitter Bomb Trap for Package Thieves Out of HomePod Box
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,043
14,858
Central U.S.
Hah, yeah, I already saw this and it’s amazing. I believe he is actually a current Apple engineer. Guy is definitely winning at life.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
954
1,056
Is stealing packages really that common?

I like the idea but it seems like a lot of work for not much results. If you want justice, simply hide a gps tracker in the real package and call the police. If you want revenge, spray paint seems like a better punishment. I doubt those thieves will stop stealing after cleaning up that glitter.
 

H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,616
2,897
Pittsburgh PA
I hope every last one of those pieces of trash are in jail.

I love the engineering that went into this, but this just makes me hate people even more.
 
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bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,331
3,339
Chicago
That's awesome. The craziest thing in my opinion is how many times the package was taken. I've been lucky and never had a package stolen (knocks on all the wood). Looks like this guys area gets hit hard with package thieves.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2012
2,591
3,509
Sydney
Is stealing packages really that common?

I like the idea but it seems like a lot of work for not much results. If you want justice, simply hide a gps tracker in the real package and call the police. If you want revenge, spray paint seems like a better punishment. I doubt those thieves will stop stealing after cleaning up that glitter.

I don’t know, that amount of glitter is going to be impossible to clean fully. You’ll be finding it for years! I thought it was almost too cruel, but then they’re probably serial offenders.
 
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