Linux on Film: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Part 2

Continued from Linux on Film: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Part 1

Piezoelectric technology and microcontroller

From a plot perspective, Peter probably made use of existing equipment like the video card and Osborn supplies (more likely provided by Curt Connors) to create a piezoelectric-based shooter.  Piezoelectric actuators and sensors used in conjunction would take care of precision and the web-shooter's trigger. However, he would need a microcontroller, say one from a Raspberry Pi, to make sure that everything works with the motor to shoot the webbing and manage flow properly (say, when creating web balls and nets). The web pellets, due to their shape and composition, would reload based on basic fluid mechanics and gravity, unlike the old mechanical web-shooters in the 60s where Peter had to keep switching cartridges to keep up with usage.


The new web-shooters are now equipped with a power meter/web gauge and are mounted on a wrist watch base.


Definitely less bulky than Peter's 1960s web-shooters.

Personally, I didn't like the red LED that lights up on the watch-size web-shooters whenever Spidey would fire webbing. It's a dead giveaway when fighting opponents such as Lizard, who didn't need enhanced intelligence to crush Pete's wrist and destroy the web-shooters.  However, as any electronics engineer would tell you, LED lights are used to inform the user if something is functioning properly or not, so there is logic as to why Pete added the LEDs (though I wish they would remove it in the sequel).


Spidey's web-shooters and utility belt as designed by Steve Ditko. Screencaptures from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

Raspberry Pi (or Arduino microcontrollers) would've been a realistic alternative to the video card shown on the film since they are cheap and Pete wouldn't have to scale the components much.  Even with Pete losing an uncle, he would've been able to afford it (hey, he has a Sony Vaio).  Moreover, like the Raspberry Pi, Andrew Garfield's British (I'm entitled to a Spidey joke every so often).

The ARM processor is certainly powerful enough to manage the microcontrollers of Pete's web-shooters and is certainly more practical than cannibalizing an Intel Atom processor or Core i3 from a netbook or laptop (much less an Nvidia chip from a tablet). Plus, wouldn't it be great if Pete would use the web-shooter as a makeshift computer in one of his adventures (though the technical side would probably be lost on the audience and would seem more of a deus ex machina)?

An Android-powered Spider-Tracer

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies never made use of Pete's technical know-how, but TASM certainly did despite Peter's questionable ethics and the likelihood of him developing the pellets on his own now that Curt Connors is in jail and his department shuttered. Hopefully, fans get to see a Linux or Android-powered Spider-Tracer (which first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #11 published in 1964) in the sequel, though Peter would probably take apart a Sony Experia smartphone just to design one rather than use a Raspberry Pi and build one from scratch (tracking devices are available anywhere these days).

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