Tell us a little bit about yourself and your educational background.
My name is James Hobson, I'm 26 years old, and I'm a full-time backyard engineer. I first got interested in everything tech related back in high school, when I formed a robotics team with my best friend Ian Hillier (now also joining me full time as a backyard engineer). In our first year, we won the national Skills Canada title! It was from there I knew engineering was what I wanted to do. We continued working on projects while we studied for our degree (we both hold a Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Systems Engineering from Conestoga College). Our first big project was converting a 1993 Honda Del Sol to electric using the guts of an electric forklift.
I understand you were working as a full-time engineer when you decided to quit and pursue your passion for tinkering and DIY. What was your inspiration?
With an audience of engineers, I have to ask, what are some of your favorite engineering DIY projects?
What kind of challenges have you encountered by pursuing your passion? What are some of the common tech challenges you face while working on your projects?
An exoskeleton that can lift a Delorean, a functional Captain America electromagnetic shield, sonic screwdrivers. What were a few of your favorite projects to work on so far? Why?
What are your plans now as The Hacksmith?
Do you have any upcoming projects in mind?
We have tons of projects coming up. One we'll need funding for is the Powerloader from the "Aliens" movie, which is basically a walking forklift. It'd be a lot of fun because you could use it to literally flip cars over. We're going to keep working on the grappling hook project (who doesn't want a grappling hook!) and we have some plans for a few projects for the upcoming "X-Men Apocalypse."
You’ve worked on some pretty successful projects. Do you have any advice for engineers, tech enthusiasts and hobbyists who are just beginning to toy with projects of their own?