Six tons of steel that lumbers around on eight giant legs
Martin Montesano had been captivated since childhood by enormous walking machines like the ones in The Empire Strikes Back. A few real-life versions have been built before, but they never lived up to his vision. He wanted his to be huge.
Powered by environmentally conscious energy sources, these DIY vehicles put traditional gas guzzlers to shame
Among his other unusual hobbies (he also builds sculptures featuring fire-spewing robots), 32-year-old Justin Gray makes custom electric motorcycles. To create his latest drag racer, the R144, Gray tore the motor and gasoline systems out of a 1999 Yamaha R1, a bike with a frame large enough to hold the extra parts he needed for the conversion. Since the gas engine had been an important structural element in the original bike, he built his own aluminum motor bracket to hold the modified bike together.
It's not too late to reverse the damage. See some bold steps any DIYer can take
From converting your lawn mower to solar power to brewing your own biofuel, there are plenty of steps the more industrious green citizen can take beyond recycling and CF bulbs. Get started below.
There’s not much you can do to put out a magnesium fire. Douse it with water or spray it with a fire extinguisher, and the results can even be explosive
If you ever see a large industrial metal fire (yes, they happen) on the news, you may be surprised at what the firefighters do to extinguish it: nothing. Several metals, including lithium, sodium and magnesium, can burn easily, and from time to time large amounts catch fire in factories. But even heaps of burning metal need not cause immediate panic. They don’t blow up; instead they tend to build up ash that chokes off their oxygen supply, so they slowly burn out.
A home-built amphibian that can cruise at 30 mph on the ground or over water
Twenty years ago, duck hunter Stan Hewitt built his first amphibious vehicle, a clunky 10-wheeled truck-boat hybrid that topped out at 10 mph on land and just 7 mph on water. Hewitt wanted to tackle the prime duck habitat of the Alaskan tundra, an area hard to access using regular vehicles, and needed to improve the craft’s speed and maneuverability to handle the currents there.
Clear the clutter without losing power
World of wires got you down? Clear the clutter with your very own fire-proof gadget charging station. Editor Mike Haney shows how a power drill and some tape can transform a bread box into a pint-size panic room just for chargers.
The Monster Motorbike from Hell destroys everything in its path
Stuntman Ray Baumann is accustomed to vehicles that soar through the air, vaulting over rows of cars. But the Australian’s latest ride makes its bones on the ground. It’s the Monster Motorbike from Hell, a 10-foot-tall, 15-ton beast that drags vans around racetracks and flattens sedans as if they were soda cans.
Hackers have radically transformed the latest videogame consoles
Ben Heckendorn’s game-console creations, from a portable Atari 2600 to a pocket-sized Nintendo 64, are famous in the modder world. But he may have topped himself with his Xbox 360 Elite laptop.
To shoehorn a full 360 into the 2.25-by-16-by-12-inch case and keep it playable, Heckendorn had to install fans and speakers and redo the internal layout of the machine several times. He then rewired the console to output the video to the 17-inch LCD display, on which he mounted an Xbox Live Vision camera for online multiplayer games.
Combining salvaged parts and an unusual light source, a DIY slide projector beams strange, mesmerizing images from hundreds of feet away
Australian artist Chris Poole was driving around his native Perth recently, when some curbside garbage caught his eye. Unlike the average scavenger, Poole wasnt searching for couches or chairs. He had his eye on an old slide viewer—a key component for his next project, a laser-based projector that could display family photos (albeit with a green hue) to the entire town.
An Italian gearhead constructs a sportster of his own design entirely by himself over four years
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/Hand_Made_Hurricane';
What's in Northern Italy's water that leads industrious people to spend great portions of their lives building race cars? Who knows. Maybe the FIAs been pumping diolefin-rich racing fuel into Emilia-Romagnas reservoirs, thereby insinuating Formula One into the local tortellini Bolognese.
The DIYer extraordinaire presents his latest Wiimote hack: a dirt-cheap, interactive white board
Nintendo Wii devotees are likely already familiar with Johnny Chung Lee as the guy who appeared one day last year on YouTube with a mind-bender of a demo on how to use the Wii remote and sensor bar to do head tracking. By placing the Wii remote at the base of a TV and attaching the sensor bar to a pair of glasses (and in conjunction with a bit of custom software), Lee made the three-dimensional images on screen respond to his position in space, appearing to float off in front of the screen. As it turns out, Lee is more than just a guy with a knack for understanding the Wii remote; he's currently a graduate Ph.D. candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. And he's so impressed the gaming world with his developments that EA is bringing a Wii game to market this spring with a head tracking Easter egg.
Re-purpose that beater laptop into a shiny new external hard drive
Sure, external hard drives aren't exactly scarce these days, but while the price point has come down a lot, they're still not cheap. Enter the hard drive case. For just a fistful of dollars, you can pick up a case that (almost) instantly transforms your old internal hard drive into a new storage unit. As Deputy Editor Jake Ward demonstrates here, putting it together is a piece of cake. In the end, you'll have a great-working hard drive, not to mention a few dollars more. Just, keep an eye out for the tiny screws.
The "masterminds" behind the false-gold scandal at the Ethiopian central bank might not have gotten caught if they'd used Theo Gray's formula
On Wednesday, the BBC reported that millions of dollars in gold at the central bank of Ethiopia has turned out to be fake: What were supposed to be bars of solid gold turned out to be nothing more than gold-plated steel. They tried to sell the stuff to South Africa and it was sent back when the South Africans noticed this little problem.
Executive editor Mike Haney demonstrates how to make a handy little light from a battery, a bulb, and a resistor
Ah, the alluring glow of the LED light. Whether you're looking to create a bit of romantic (albeit extremely geeky) ambiance, or you just want to have some extra emergency lighting around the house, a set of mini LED candles is a great thing to have. They also happen to be quick, easy, and cheap to make yourself. In this video, executive editor Mike Haney demonstrates how to do it.
Meet PopSci's resident mad scientist Theodore Gray, master of concoctions and combustions
Periodic Table: And be sure to check out Theodore Gray's one-of-a-kind periodic table at periodictable.com.
Each month, Popular Science
features one of Theodore Gray's DIY (if dangerous) experiments. See the whole list here.
Making a Perfect Match
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