And they said the Segway would change the way we moved through cities! Video of pallet skating in Bratislava, Slovakia by Tomáš Moravec.
Remember Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed who caused chaos last year with his design for a 3D printed gun, The Liberator? Now, Wilson and engineer John Sullivan have developed a $1500 desktop CNC mill, called the Ghost Gunner, that cranks out the key component in assault rifles. Now you can make your own AR-15! There's a waiting list to buy one and the money is going to Wilson's lawsuit against the State Department. From Rob Walker's excellent feature in Bloomberg Businessweek:
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Most people can purchase a pretty good factory-built gun for $1,000. Even so, Wilson got 10 orders on Day One and started raising the price, soon cutting off pre-orders at 500. Sullivan submitted redesigned specs to suppliers by mid-December, with Wilson, Sullivan, and Denio building the earliest units themselves. They started shipping in April 2015.
Gradually, Wilson put together an assembly team—contacts from his network, random supporters who reached out via Twitter, and so on. “It’s torture man, getting going,” he says. “But here we are. It’s been a full year of Ghost Gunner shipping.” The enterprise just surpassed 2,000 units shipped. (An upgraded Ghost Gunner 2 debuted on June 21 at $1,500; you can get on a waiting list for $250.)
Sullivan has since transitioned to a “consulting role.” He spoke to me, somewhere en route to Oklahoma City, from his van, which is where he and his fiancée essentially live, having sold most of their possessions. He’s opted for a low-expense, permanent-vacation lifestyle, he says, and can now pick and choose the projects that interest him.
Caleb Kraft used the Google Cardboard design to make a working VR headset from graham crackers and icing. It's entirely edible, except for the lenses.
Dremel commissioned Mark to make something interesting that used their tools and document the process online. So he made this cool soprano ukulele that has a full-size body but is much shorter than typical ukes because he used zither tuning pegs. He posted the full build notes on Medium.
DIY boosted board made with a power drill, brass wire wheel brush, extension bit holder, right angle drill attachment, flexible bit holder, and of course a skateboard and wheels.
His tool of choice: a DIY wrench lure. It's a wrench, string, and two fishing hooks. With only this tool, Florida man Ryan Hein was able to reel in a 400-pound Goliath grouper while fishing in the St. Petersburg area.
Mechanical engineering students from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology built this fantastic Rube Goldberg machine last year to tell the story of Passover, the Jewish holiday starting the evening of April 22 that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Of course my favorite part of the story, and this video, is the Ten Plagues.
(Thanks, Candy Mabry!)
And here's a behind-the-scenes video:
Alec Smecher built a wireless electronmechanical system that enables him to robotically raise and waggle his eyebrows via remote control. Because, you know, he could. From MAKE:
Beyond its obvious practicality, this project makes a great introduction to DC motor control, infrared remote control, and moving from working with an Arduino to working with the bare ATMega328 chip. These concepts are combined with some minimal extra circuitry.
The end result will be a great conversation piece, that is… if you don’t stab your eye with a toothpick. My implementation supports calibration, independent control of each eyebrow, and a 1- to 9-way waggle feature. Expressions vary from skeptical to shocked to very, very shocked.
Meet maker Gary Hug who built his own home observatory, including a DIY reflector telescope, and discovered more than 300 asteroids.
Under The Weather is a single-person pop-up shelter to sit inside that my big brother Rick came up with a while back. (He was sick of getting soaked at his kids' soccer games and was inspired by a portable toilet he saw by the field.) Under The Weather is designed for spectator sports, fishing, and other outdoor events where it's raining, windy, or cold, but you are either obligated to watch or having so much fun you don't want to leave. Rick used his personal savings to have a bunch of the tents made and they mostly just sat in a warehouse until last year when videos and photos of the thing somehow went viral. Now this curious contraption is selling like crazy. I'm proud of him!
In the last few months, Rick received a bunch of requests for a version of Under The Weather that a wheelchair or stroller could roll right into. (The standard Under The Weather tent has a lip on the bottom of the door that makes this difficult.) So Rick designed a new model, the Accessipod, in which the entire back of the tent opens up for easy access. Check out the videos below!
You can buy all the tent models directly from him here: Under the Weather
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Day two of the (International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Convention) finds Fechter on the floor but with a non-working game. This is the first public debut of Bashy Bug.
As Fechter promised, the game is mechanical. The player operates a giant rubber flip-flop while a mutated cockroach skitters underfoot. If you can step on the bug, you earn a point. If the bug escapes when you bring your foot down, the bug earns a point. I know from experience that the system has been wired with a jerking intelligence to randomly stop the bug's run just short of the target that makes this harder than it sounds, and after the bug has scored a few points against you, you'll find yourself sucked in. But nobody here will have that opportunity.
"I haven't slept," Fechter tells me, standing in front of this monument of a purple machine with an animatronic roach face hovering above the scoreboard and Billy Bob painted on the cabinet. There is a mania in his voice that I would blame on fatigue if I hadn't interviewed him before.
BB pal Mitch Altman informs us that he's ceased manufacturing on his marvelous invention the TV-B-Gone, a keychain remote control that turns off any television with a push of the button. It's great fun in sports bars, airports, restaurants, and wherever else there's an idiot box that annoys you! Grab one now because when they're gone, you'll have to make your own (also great fun). Mitch writes:
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In 2003 I quit my job to explore ways of making a living doing what I love doing. It was kind of scary, since I had no idea how I would make enough money after quitting my work. But I knew that I had to quit doing what was only OK, to make time to explore what I truly love. One thing I knew was that I wanted to design and make one TV-B-Gone remote control -- just for me. I wanted to be able to turn TVs off in public places!
It took me a year and a half to make the first TV-B-Gone remote control. And when I did, I went all over San Francisco turning TVs off everywhere I went -- and enjoying the hell out of it! And, of course my friends all wanted one. So, I made them for all of my friends. But, oddly, most of their friends wanted one. And when it turned out that many of the friends of my friends' friends also wanted one, I thought it would be interesting to make a bunch.