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Inspiring Biography of Allen Pan

Allen Pan is an engineer, and a popular YouTuber.

He is popular for his science projects on his eponymous YouTube channel.


Allen Pan hails from Lake Villa, Illinois, United States and has Chinese ethnicity.

Since his childhood, he has been fascinated with inventions, robots and TV series like Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman.

He has a younger brother, Alex.

Allen resides in Los Angeles, California.

Being poor-

Allen was poor while he was young, so he worked as a lab rat in a hospital.

He participated in a fake double-blind study and was given amphetamines.

Allen received a $80 gift card for this.

Education & career-

In 2008, Allen joined the University of Southern California to study for a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

He graduated in 2012 and in May 2012, he joined Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a GPS Engineering Intern.

Allen didn’t like the desk job, so even though he was getting well paid, he quit in September 2012.

Being homeless-

Later, Allen hitch-hiked across the United States.

He was homeless but fortunately, he had many friends in Los Angeles who offered him accommodation.

During that time, Allen was a member of the LA Biohackers and he slept on the rooftop of the LA Biohackers in the L.A. Downtown Industrial District for a couple of days.

Later, as he needed some cash, he started working as a freelance electrical engineer and worked in several gigs.

In February 2013, Allen joined The Academic Advantage to work as a NCLB Tutor and he worked here until May 2013.

Since September 2013, he has been an Electronics and Robotics Fellow at Los Angeles Makerspace, a non-profit organisation.

In January 2014, Allen joined The Exploratory in Culver City, California to work as an instructor and he worked here until October 2014.

Inspired by ‘The Avengers’-

In 2014, Allen saw the teaser trailer of the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.

He was inspired by Thor’s hammer and decided to build one on his own with a fingerprint scanner.

Allen built this hammer in May 2015 but it wasn’t perfect.

He displayed the hammer in the Maker Faire Bay Area 2015.

Later, as the hammer wasn’t as good as intended even after tinkering, Allen shelved it.

Staring his YouTube channel-

Allen started his YouTube channel by the name, Sufficiently Advanced (later renamed it to Allen Pan) on 28 March 2015 as a fun project.

As during that time, he was unemployed, he had the free time to perfect his Thor’s hammer.

Allen’s first video on his channel is titled- How to Make a Real Rasengan! (Awesome Cosplay Prop) and he published this video on 4 September 2015.

Sufficiently Advanced-

Allen initially named his channel as Sufficiently Advanced based on an Arthur C. Clarke’s quote-

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Allen’s intention is to use technology to create magical things to astonish the public and he does exactly this on his YouTube channel.

He mainly builds things related to pop-culture, science fiction and fantasy from popular films.

Becoming successful-

On 12 October 2015, Allen published a video featuring his Thor’s Hammer and this video is titled- Real Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer) – Electromagnet, Fingerprint Scanner | Sufficiently Advanced.

He built this hammer with different components like a microwave oven transformer electromagnet, Arduino Pro Mini, a fingerprint scanner, solid state relay and four SLA batteries.

Prior to posting this video, Allen had only around 40 subscribers with a total of a couple of thousand views on his first video.

But the Thor’s Hammer video started receiving millions of views within a few days of publishing and kickstarted his YouTube career.

As of December 2023, he has 2.13M subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.

Currently, he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.

Allen hasn’t revealed his net worth.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Allen Pan?

Share with me in the comment section below.

Featured image credit- Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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