From mid 2010:
This looks simple but there's a lot going on.
The handle itself is 7 or 8 pieces; this mockup shows it mounted to an assembly of extrusions (all of which I designed, and clad in blackened mahogany) which together make up the stile of a 2000lb swinging door. In the close corner you can actually see the inflatable pneumatic seal (I can't stress how cool this is) that keeps the door weatherproof from the exterior.
The handle has a couple of stainless steel mounting brackets which are hidden inside the stile. Then there are the horizontal parts, which are drilled internally to allow a bundle of wires to be routed from the stile into the handle itself. The vertical part of the handle is actually split along its long dimension, though you can't see it in the photo. The part on the right is solid, but the part on the left (towards the stile) rides on a couple of shafts and actuates about 1/16". When you grab the handle, the moving part clicks in just a little bit and closes a pair of tactile switches, which tell the door's brain (a custom ATMega board) that someone wants to be let out. That in turn deflates the pneumatic seal and releases a couple of electromagnets, unlocking the door.
If you followed any of that, kudos.
Anyway it's fucking cool. Too bad it never got built - it took me months to design & prototype.
Sure was a fun project, though.