Hypothetically, say you found a safe in your garage. Maybe left there by the previous owner, maybe part of your wife’s family’s old junk — nobody seems to know. You hear an intriguing rattle inside; what could it be? Gold? Silver? An old stick of gum? Only one way to find out: design a robot to attempt every combination possible on the lock and have it run night and day.
Of course, you could take it to a locksmith, or try to blow it up, but what if it’s filled with Whoppers? You’d break them all and there’d be delicious malt powder filling all over the place.
It should also be noted that the combination lock has 50 spaces, and likely takes three stops to open, there are going to be quite a few combinations (or semi-permutations, really) to try out. If our math is correct (no guarantee on that), you’ve got either 125,000 (50x50x50) or 122,500 (50x50x49, in case one of the items can’t be the same as the last. Someone smart, check the math.
[via Hack A Day]