Final Paper

Project Title: The Shape Shifting Key



 Here are the keywords used in my project: Shape shifting, Master Key, Security,Lock,Wireless.Tracking Device.


    The project that I am working on is called the shape shifting key. This key will be designed to changed shape whenever it is needed to open a lock. The key will have a built in finger print system in it. It will only work with its designated owner to prevent wrongful intent. There are nights where you forgot to bring your key and you are locked out of your home. One day you may have lost your car keys. The shape shifting key is made for these moments. You can only purchase one key at a time. In order to get another key you would have to report the last key to the police. They will then deactivate the old key and make a new one for you with updated information for a price. The shape shifting key will be made to fit in your wallet. Losing the key will be very difficult unless you have lost your wallet. The key will have a chip in it with data of each lock that you own. In this case it can remember that it is your lock and how to change shape to open it. The shape shifting key would be given to the elderly and handicapped for free.


Research: Tangible

      Shape shifting Materials are Goal of New Nanotechnology Project Scientists will use Techniques to identify materials that  change  shape when reacting to  heat or light.There is a research team that received a $2.9 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to design nanomaterials that change shape when reacting to the heat or light.These  materials will made from three  things.Inorganic nanoparticles with electrical properties; Peptides that bond to these nanoparticles; and some molecules called spacers These sit between the peptides and bend in response to  heat or light.When stimulated, the spacers will cause the nanoparticles within the material to change Shape-shifting materials that  the researchers are planning to create could have use in applications including color-changing sensors and plasmonic circuits that divert light in two directions.In depth description of research in the fields and satellite fields.The project is being led by Paras Prasad, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the University at Buffalo’s departments of chemistry, physics, electrical engineering and medicine, and executive director of UB’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB). Funding comes from the Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences Directorate of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research .Hugh DeLong is the program manager.


More research:


Shape-memory alloy

 A shape- memory alloy is an alloy that remembersits original, cold-forgedshape returning to the pre-deformed shape when heated. This material is a lightweight, solid-state alternative to conventional  actuators such as,hydraulic pneumatic, andmotor -based systems. Shape-memory alloys have applications in industries including medicine and Aerospace .The two main types of shape-memory alloys are copper-aluminium-nickel, and nickel- titanium  alloys but SMAs can also be created by alloying zinc, copper,gold and iron. NiTi alloys are generally more expensive and change fromaustenite to martensite upon cooling; Mf is the temperature at which the transition to martensite completes upon cooling. Accordingly, during heating As and Af are the temperatures at which the transformation from martensite to austenite starts and finishes. Repeated use of the shape-memory effect may lead to a shift of the characteristic transformation temperatures (this effect is known as functional fatigue, as it is closely related with a change of microstructural and functional properties of the material. The transition from the martensite phase to the austenite phase is only dependent on temperature and stress, not time, as most phase changes are, as there is no diffusion involved. Similarly, the austenite structure receives its name from steel alloys of a similar structure. It is the reversible diffusionless transition between these two phases that results in special properties. While martensite can be formed from austenite by rapidly cooling carbon-steel this process is not reversible, so steel does not have shape-memory properties.

Here is a link to the website stating that shapeshifting objects  are being worked on




Research: Philosophical


    Keeping someone’s property  safe has  always worried of people throughout the world. Instead of hiding them, people tend to keep them safe with a device.Early solutions included knots to either detect, like the Thief knot, or hamper, like the Gordian Knot. Historians are unsure where the first lock was invented, but  some evidence shows that locks were developed in the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Wooden locks and keys were used 4,000 years ago in Egypt. The first known lock was  a pin lock. This lock  was on a rope hanging out of a hole in a door. A  piece of wood with a hole in it was the key. The key is inserted into the hole and the bolt is pushed the correct distance. To lock the door the rope was pulled to extract the key cylinder.This type of lock is still  used  in someparts of the world. Puerto Rico still uses this system. A disadvantage of this lock is that a vandal can push the rope into the hole:Another lock would be the  warded lock.This lock is still used in modern times when the security required is not high and cost is a significant factor. This lock is well known  in the Western world. Lock puzzles were used to lock for a thief to waste time on.

     In the early 1900s a wooden pin lock with a wood key was discovered in Egypt.It has been improved by increasing the number of pins for security. Also by changing the build of the pins to allow the key to be able to unlock  instead of a rope. Locksmiths actually made the entire lock, working for hours hand cutting screws and doing paperwork..There are not many Locksmiths that do this today. Cheap mass productions prevents this. There arent many expert locksmiths around that are skilled in engineering and repairs. Most locks are just repaired by switching prts for replacement.Locksmiths today are primarily involved in the installation of higher quality lock-sets and the design, implementation and management of keying and key control systems. Most locksmiths also do electronic lock servicing, like making keys for transponder-equipped vehicles The majority of locksmiths also work on  door hardware.This includes door closers, door hinges, electric strikes, frame repairs and other door hardware.


  Full Project Description


    The shape shifting key would be made entirely for the elderly or disabled. Anyone could use purchase this key but i feel that it could be used more for those sort of people. The key would have a tracking device on the storage card just incase it gets lost. The storage cannot be removed. This device would store data wirelessly through bluetooth or the police servers. I mentioned earlier that if you lose this device you can only receive a new one by warning the police. The key would be able to change shape and fit comfortably in your wallet. Most people keep important things their wallet. For instance, Money, forms of ID, and metrocards. With these things being kept in your wallet you will take extra care of it. Chances of losing the shape shifting key would be slim. In my project the key would have voice recognition. For example, you walk to your home door and say Key shift Home. It will then change into a key that fits your door perfectly. People tend to have lots of things that requires a key to open them. For example, Car doors, Home doors, Work doors, Lock Safe, and more. Why carry a load of keys that can be heavy or take up too much pocket space. The shape shifting key will be one key that fits all. I know that something like this can cause trouble. People with wrongful intent will steal this key to commit crimes. To avoid this ive implimented a finger print scanner. The key will not operate to someone that has not been registered to it. When someone tries to use your key the police will be notified instantly. The thief will be tracked down without even knowing it. Stealing a shape shifting key would be a felony because it is primarily used by the elderly and disabled. There would be software for the key to install on your home computer. This software will allow you to enter different locks for the shape shifting key to remember. The shapeshifting key would retrieve this information from your computer wirelessly. The police will have your information just in case if you commit crimes as well. They will store the date you purchased the key, your name, date of birth, and address. Hopefully I could strike a deal with a lock smith company to make some money selling them shapeshifting keys. Also, the military can make good use of this item because they own a number of automobiles. Even at war they could steal the enemies car or plane and escape danger. The military would have special shapeshifting keys that read locks on doors with a scanner.

How would I advance my project for the future

There wouldnt be much that I could do to improve the key. It does pretty much everything  what I had in mind. For the most part I would make it easier to carry. With all of the technology inside of it, I assume the key itself would be really big and bulky. What I would love to do is promote the key world wide. Get the keys to sell in other continents like Europe of Asia. Also, Hospitals deserve keys like this as well. There are many doors in hospitals that may have different locks on them. It would be simple to have a key that can just open any door. This way the doctors can gain access to patients that are in need of immediate help. The key can be sold to many companys or places that use multiple locks. Digging through a set of keys just to open a specific door is a hassle. Universities can benefit from the keys as well because of the amount of classrooms within them.

Description of Deliverables


My first deliverable would be my journal. I would also include drawings of the shapeshifting key. Step by step would show the design of the key and its functions. There are a number of functions for this key. I believe people would want to see a visual of how they look and work. My last deliverable could be a brochure of me advertising the shapeshifing key, explaining what it does, and how to use it correctly or me advertising the product.

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