How Many Laser Pointers Would You Need in Order to Kill a Human?

Scientists seem to have a lot of time on their hands if this is anything to go by, but hey ho, if you quite liked the idea of world domination while using a death ray, then this article is for you.

A single laser pointer is not anywhere near powerful enough to inflict a nasty end on one’s enemies due to having a power rating of 5-milliwatts. According to James Kakalios who is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of “The Physics of Superheroes”, what a job that is, makes the point that it’s in reality quite tough to kill a human being with lasers. But he did have a go at explaining it by stating that the most effective way to use a laser on a human is to “target the eye and thus melting the brain”, blimey, he must be fun at dinner parties.

So, how many lasers would you need? Well, according to Rebecca Thompson of the America Physical Society, you would need a laser at approximately 1KW, this equates to around 200,000 laser pointers. You would also need each laser pointer to focus through a lens on one spot with the aim of concentrating enough power. Every laser beam would also need to be in a “semi-circle with a radius of about 5.5”, so in theory you could buy 200,000 “laser pointers before mounting them on a Sphere with a radius of 5, 5 and aim them all through a lens.”

So yes, there you go, now you can in theory build your own death ray, well sort of, (quick disclaimer, eTeknix would advise that no one attempted to build their own death ray, we do want readers that are not melted.)

On a side note, below is a video that shows this concept being conveyed at an insane level, a Youtuber who goes by the username “styropyro” has built his own Laser shotgun which has a combined power of 40W, as you do. Guns are a problem within society, let’s hope no one decides to use laser weapons instead.

How Much Would It Cost To Build a Bionic You?

Well this is an interesting start to an article, in a world where machines are fast evolving with the aim of becoming the new humans of choice, what would be the theoretical financial cost if you either quite fancied a bionic body double, or have decided to take a career deviation to a more Iron Man existence. It turns out it is technically possible in a theoretical but far less evolved way, although it is unlikely you will see any custom iHumans anytime soon; you would need access to both the most cutting edge of tech and also the required disposal income.


So, what do you need to become truly bionic? A brain, yes that would help, Google operates artificial neural networks (ANN) and uses them for services like Google Translate, or recommending videos on YouTube. These are prohibitively expensive, but the search giant does offer a low-cost version which stands at around £13,000. An average human brain is still vastly superior and surprisingly has a power consumption of around 20 watts, which is less than a light bulb. Especially those so-called energy-saving bulbs which when you turn on take a while to provide you with any kind of light.


What else do we need then? Eyes? Yep their kind of important, Robots like the WALK‐MAN use infrared, radar, sonar and lasers to help them perceive the world. The price? That would be £98,000; there is a slight downside as robots struggle to identify objects, this is why many robotic vision systems use a combination of vision techniques, for example combining a high-speed stereoscopic camera with a slower laser scanner, which builds a 3D map of the world.


Skin would also be essential for that authentic human look, the icub, not an Apple spinoff, has created an “artificial skin” on a machine. The robots chest, arms, hands and legs are covered in pressure sensitive skin that allows the child‐sized robot to interact more delicately with objects and humans. The reasoning behind this is that electric ‘nanowires’ are being developed with the aim of eventually allowing robots to properly ‘feel’ the world around them. Oh and the price would be at least £164,000, it’s cheaper to build an actual human rather than a robot one at this rate.


Next up, hands, a research project at the John Hopkins University has built 10 prosthetic hands, at a cost of around £325,000 each. Or if you would prefer an alternative then there is a project from Open Bionics, which utilizes a 3D‐printed prosthetic hand. This works by detecting muscle movements with electrical signals. It can be custom-built and fitted in only two days, at a cost of £2000. It will be an interesting chapter in the world when you can print your own hands.


Joints are next and arrive courtesy of Festo’s prototype Bionic Handling Assistant which is modelled on an elephant’s trunk. But what if you would like the cream of the crop? Nasa have thought of this and have built a “humanoid Robot” which uses similar technology to that of Festo’s and have coined it the Robonaut 2. Its flexible joints have already helped it climb around the International Space Station. I would not open your wallets just yet as the price would be around $14 million, which is a lot.

Legs and Feet

Lastly, there is the question of legs and feet, how much would they cost? The WALK‐MAN has devised legs which are pliant rather than rigid, making balance easier and allows them to walk in a smooth-ish fashion. It’s still nowhere near as advanced as a human though and it does require a hefty power supply, prices would be around £4.3 million.

Right, if you have access to the best bionic tech, then it would cost quite a lot, to make one bionic would require a vast array of tech which would at this time be not as good as us. Advancements have been implemented, but nothing has touched the power and intricacy of for example the human brain, robots are good at being machines and humans are good at being us, well most of us.

TL;DR we’re a lot of money and that’s without adding Iron-Man like abilities.

Thank you sky for providing us with this information.