Category archives: Cool Products

Homemade space craft!

We live in amazing times when, for a few hundred bucks in off-the-shelf components, and a little planning, you can build a toy in your backyard that goes into space. [ Thx to Larry Salzman for posting ]

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Handy Power Strip Prevents Mistakes

More than once I’ve unplugged my computer when I meant to unplug something else. I just saw this handy power strip that solves the problem.

Wooden mirror

A reflection of yourself appearing on sheet of wood. As the camera “sees” you the computer scans the image quickly to determine the darkness of each pixel of the image. It maps each pixel to a rod on the plane of wood and rotates the rod so it appears the correct shade of light or darkness.

The rods of wood appear to change color just by virtue of the overhead lighting. They’re cut on an angle such that they cast a shadow when rotated to a certain position. Ingenious. It has the interesting property that electric power is required to change the picture, but not to hold it. Once the rods are rotated it could be turned off and you’d still see the face.

What’s the practicality of something like this? Large outdoor signs where you want to be able to update the message; maybe the principle could be applied to flooring (cover with a sheet) so you could update the pattern of a floor; it would be a neat attention piece in a window display of a retail store.

Origami house

Origami House Living in a downtown condo there have been lots of times I wished I had more space. These two videos are both amazing examples of ingenious solutions to maximizing the space you have.

This first one are actual products from the New York-based furniture company Resource Furniture. The second is a Japanese architect’s apartment.

Which product did you think was best? Answer by writing a comment below!

Self-balancing wheel: the end of training wheels

This is a bicycle wheel that can be installed in any bike and the wheel balances itself eliminating the need for training wheels. You can stand the wheel on it’s own and let go and it won’t fall over, it’s quite remarkable to watch. It’s a clever application of a gyroscope.

You’ve experienced for yourself that when you’re riding a bike it’s easier to stay upright the faster you’re moving. When you’re moving at a slow speed is when you’re most unstable.

This is because the spinning wheels of a normal bicycle are acting as gyroscopes; the faster the wheels are spinning the more they resist a change in orientation (i.e. they resist tipping over).

This gyrowheel has a disc inside it that is spinning very quickly so even when the wheel itself is stationary, the fast spinning disc inside provides the same benefit to balancing. That’s why this wheel, when absolutely stationary, can stand upright without falling over.

What other products would benefit from being able to stand upright in what would normally be an unstable position that required careful balancing?

Walking table–more practical than it sounds

Amazing table actually *walks* for you when you need to move it to another part of the room! The mobility of a wheeled table with the stability of table legs, very cool.

HT to Geekologie