See this inventor's odd bicycles from the 1930s

This engineer, active in Kidderminster, England in the 1930s, appears to be the artistic ancestor of San Francisco's Cyclecide bike rodeo. (British Pathé via Weird Universe)

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Pallet skating on a city's trolley tracks

And they said the Segway would change the way we moved through cities! Video of pallet skating in Bratislava, Slovakia by Tomáš Moravec.

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This man is building the business of DIY assault rifles

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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:

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.

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HOWTO: Decorate wood with glow-in-the-dark Lichtenberg figures

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YouTuber thepoultrypeople creates very crafty items like vape pen holders, with the added twist of burning Lichtenberg figures into them with electricity, then pouring in glow-in the dark pigments. Read the rest

How to make an edible virtual reality headset

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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.

"Making an Edible Virtual Reality Viewer for Your Phone" (MAKE:)

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How to build a travel ukulele from scratch

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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.

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How to electrify your skateboard with a power drill

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.

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Pong beautifully remade as a physical, analog arcade game

The Pong Project brings one of the first arcade video games back into the physical world through ingenious DIY engineering.

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How to make a lovely ring from a coin

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Over at MAKE, Shane Walton explains a neat technique for turning coins into beautiful rings. Instead of hammering the edge with a hammer, he suggests tapping it with a spoon... for hours.

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How to make a cheese ball machine gun from a leaf blower

Your old fashioned spud gun has got nothing on NightHawkinLight's cheese ball automatic assault blower.

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Florida man catches 400-pound Goliath Grouper fish with a wrench

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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.

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Amazing Rube Goldberg machine tells the Passover story

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:

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Remote control for your facial expressions

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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.

"Strap a Robot to Your Face! Your Expressions Are Now Controlled by Technology" (MAKE)

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Backyard astronomer discovered 300 asteroids so far

Meet maker Gary Hug who built his own home observatory, including a DIY reflector telescope, and discovered more than 300 asteroids.

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Ingenious pop-up shelter for people in wheelchairs

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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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Meet the inventor of Whac-A-Mole and The Rock-afire Explosion

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Aaron Fechter is the creator of the Rock-afire Explosion, the animatronic band that made greasy memories at Showbiz Pizza throughout the 1980s. He also insists he's the inventor of Whac-A-Mole, based on a similar Japanese game that he saw in 1976, although the company that popularized it call bullshit on that claim. Now, Fechter has a new game in the works, Bashy Bug, and he's banking on its success to save his career, and his legacy. From Popular Mechanics:

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.

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Last chance to buy a TV-B-Gone!

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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:

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.

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