Ever imagined a robot cameraman? What about your own affordable grappling hook? It’s too bad no one has invented anything like that stuff, yet. Bummer, right? No. These things have already been invented, and their inventors are people like you and me.
I’m lying. These people are a lot smarter than me, and I could never invent anything like they have.
Below, we have five cool homemade gadgets for you to check out including what’s already been mentioned. Beyond that, you’ll find videos of machines that will help you capture photos of lions, bypass Google Glass, and even climb walls. With all that said, we have some nifty stuff for you today. So buckle in, champ. MakeUseOf is going to take you through some toys you won’t find in stores.
Engineered by Arthur Wait for Microsoft’s Robotics@Home, the SmartTripod does something that up until now was only imagined in futuristic, sci-fi films. Wait’s machine is a mobile tripod that – using an Xbox 360 Kinect – acts as an autonomous camera operator. No. I’m not kidding.
The device is programmed to physically follow its subject on wheels (while avoiding potential obstacles and collisions – Roomba-style) while at the same time contextually pointing the camera by either following on-screen action or recognizing subtle hand signal cues. Waits created the SmartTripod for YouTube show hosts who tend to be a one-man band. Even still, I believe this machine could very well see itself in the hands of professionals in the future.
It may not have a touch screen, battery pack, or Wi-Fi capable abilities, but the Grappling Hook Launcher is exactly what you need to be the Batman of your neighborhood. This machine utilizes the simple mechanics of air pressure to in order to shoot its grapple at the designated target, and let me be clear – this thing shoots high. Constructed by Christian Reed using only a Nerf gun, a fire extinguisher, and a few other odds and ends, this device is sure to MacGyver you out of any situation.
Are you stuck with your mother-in-law at dinner? Whip out the Grappling Hook Launcher. Have you just been asked for a charity donation after ordering at your favorite fast food restaurant? Bam. Grappling Hook Launcher. This device is pretty nifty, and since Reed has provided a how-to via Instructables, you can make your own.
Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas wanted a practical way to take pictures of lions without getting their heads eaten off. So instead of finding a nameless wanderer to take the risk, they created the BeetleCam. The BeetleCam is a simple device that takes DSLRs on wheels into the wilderness to take photos of African wildlife.
The brothers’ prototype was almost lost to a lion (the camera did not survive), so they recently set out to create a better, protected version. Nowadays, you’ll see the BeetleCam with rock-like armor to prevent any damage being done.
Google Glass can move over because Matthew Kwan has already made his own personal HUD using a baseball cap, some duct tape, and an HTC smartphone. The device isn’t exactly pretty to look at, but seeing that it’s only a prototype, things are forgivable. Kwan noticed something about all of today’s HUDs – they don’t offer a full field of view.
With that said, he set out to create an immersive HUD offering a complete wrap-around screen. Hopefully, if this were to ever hit the market, the device won’t be tied together with a rubber band and an alligator clip. However, with Kwan’s genius, I believe it would be just fine even if it was.
It seems like we have an unintentional superhero theme with this article. First, there was the Batman grappling hook. Then there was the Iron Man HUD. Now? Well, we have Spider-Man hands.
Hibiki Kino was just your average teenage boy that does a little technological engineering on the side. Using suction cups and vacuums, the kid made a device that allowed him to climb walls. At first glance, the video may not be the impressive. However, you should stick around and watch a little longer. After thinking about it, you may change your mind.
So that’s a wrap, folks. However, these are just five homemade geeky gadgets out of tons more! Hopefully, we can show a few more in the future. What other homemade geeky gadgets do you know of? Have you made any of your own?
Image Credit: ppdigital