15 Incredible Do-It-Yourself Gadgets You Wish You Made
For those of you who are DIY fans out there, we’ve got a special treat for you this week! Ordered from least to most difficult projects to undertake, this list of hot DIY gadgets is going to blow your mind! The most notable is the Vertipod DIY One-Man Hoverflyer and most resourceful is the Laser Listening device. The coolest and most retro one is the Plasma Arc Speakers that have been around since the 80s.
Check them all out below!
- DIY Laser Home Defence System
Ever wanted to secure your home the way the spooks at the CIA and other high-security agencies do? Well a do-it-yourself laser alarm system is actually pretty cheap and straight forward. All you need are some mirrors, a laser and a light detector (with adjustable gain).
- DIY Spy Laser Listening Device
Ever played the game Splinter Cell where you had to use a laser microphone to eavesdrop on the Chinese embassy? Well now you can build your own, albeit less portable and effective version. It is a simple contraption using a photodetector wired up to a microphone jack. You bounce a laser beam off a glass window and position the photodetector to receive the reflected ray. Plug the microphone jack into a laptop and record. Some DIYers have noted that the device is extremely difficult to angle and the gain on the photocell is fairly weak.
- The DIY Spy Night Vision Headset
This DIY active night vision headset uses a monocle from an old video recorder. All video monocles contain a CMOS that is sensitive to the infrared spectrum. Illuminating the area with infrared light thus allows you see through the video monocle whilst still being in pitch black darkness.
- Lego Rubik Cube Solving Robot
This innovative Lego Mindstorms Robot is able to first scan a rubik cube then solve it using a rotating base and arm to flip the cube. Click the link to watch the video.
- Lego iPhone Controlled Rover
If you have two iPhones and a Lego Mindstorms kit, you could construct a nifty iPhone Rover to explore the nether regions of your home. iPhone one is placed in the rover and has a special software that displays colors to tell the rover where to go. The second iPhone, that’s in your palm sends the color data at your command to the first wirelessly.
- Lego “Milk” 3D Object Scanner
A fascinating and out-of-the-box invention, the milk scanner is a three dimensional object scanner. Thus, unlike your flatbed scanner, it can scan objects in three dimensions. The scanner works by first immersing the entire object in milk. The scanner photographs this first image. As milk is removed, more of the object is revealed and more photos are taken. Over several minutes, a 3d layered-cake is built up and rendered in the computer.
- Your Own DIY Touchscreen Eee PC
Sometimes that tiny trackpad on the Eee can be a pain to use. A relatively simple modification can be made by adding a touch screen surface on top of the existing LCD panel. It turns out that there is enough space inside the PC’s housing for the touch screen controller. You’ll have to be comfortable with taking things apart in this one, and soldering itsy bitsy metal contacts together.
- LCD Video Projection System
I’ve always wanted an inexpensive projector for my astronomy program, but since then I’ve never found one below $3000. This cool DIY mod, uses an old LCD panel (stripped from its backlight) and a DIY lightsource (maybe an old OHP Projector). You mount the bare LCD panel onto the OHP projector and adjust the focus – and voila! Pretty darned neat.
- Lego UAV Autopilot
Wanted to fly a model airplane on autopilot? Now you can! Using the Lego Mindstorms kit, some fancy roll and pitch sensors and of course, wiring it up to the servos and you’ve got autopilot. Oh and don’t forget to program it first. This project isn’t easy though, click the link to read the full details.
- BugE Micro Electric Car
You can purchase a $3400 kit from Blue Sky Design to build a personal plugin electric vehicle. This minuscule vehicle is great for trips to the shopping mall and can reach a top speed of 50mph and a range of 30 miles. Perfect for impressing your friends and family.
- Plasma Arc Speakers
These electrifying speakers have been around since the 60s. A high voltage spark is sent between a “spark gap” and modulated using music. The quivering and vibrating plasma arc that passes between the “spark gap” compresses and expands the air around it to generate the music. Very impressive, but don’t try to touch the speaker or you’ll be blown away! (Literally)
- Jet Turbine Powered Bicycle
This must be one of the wackiest inventions around, but hey whatever makes your day. This Jet Engine powered bicycle goes really fast (duh), but be cautious when the fuel runs out on an uphill climb! The engine pushes the bike to 50 mph and is way too loud. As the inventor Bob Maddox says: “It’s loud like a top alcohol dragster loud. It’ll pop your ear drums if you aren’t wearing protective gear. That’s a drawback to the engines.”
- Vertipod One-Man Hoverflyer
The Vertipod is a vertical flying machine invented by Pete Bitar. It allows the user to hover vertically and move horizontally by shifting his/her weight, similar to that of a Segway. The flying machine is capable of flying 5 to 15 feet above ground at up to 40 mph. Kit Cost: $10,000!
- Velocity Aircraft Kit
For the brave and most experienced in DIYing souls, you can now build your own personal aircraft! The Velocity holds four passengers and luggage and has a range of up to 1,000 miles at speeds of up to 200 mph. It performs best at altitudes of 7,000 to 12,000 ft and requires a 1,500 ft landing strip. (Pilots license not included)
- Playstation 3 Super Computing Cluster
Built by an Astrophysicist, this PlayStation 3 Super Cluster is the ultimate in entertaining computing. The system hit a record of 1 petaflop and is now used by the researchers to solve problems in days instead of weeks. The PS3′s have advanced GPUs and physics simulators that are capable of rapidly calculating the results to similar physical and mathematical problems in the real world. Makes you wonder, maybe we are in the Matrix…