PopSci is pleased to present videos created by Motherboard, Vice Media's guide to future culture. Motherboard's original videos that run the gamut from in-depth, investigative reports to profiles of the offbeat forward-thinking characters who are sculpting our bizarre present.
Japan has a storied history of technical wizardry, but even then Yoshiro Nakamatsu stands a cut above. Better known as Dr. NakaMats, he's a celebrity inventor who's claimed to hold over 4,000 patents, which would be a world record. He's known for his loopy, goofball demeanor, which makes him something of a cross between Nikola Tesla and Willy Wonka. Dr. NakaMats celebrated his 84th birthday on June 26.
What would the creators of some of the most beloved and widespread American toys make, if given a completely blank slate? We asked the driving forces behind toys like K'Nex, LEGO, Tickle Me Elmo, and Nerf to really explore their craziest impulses--and man, did they come up with some craziness.
Chris Goggin doesn’t like the title “inventor,” despite the fact that nearly two dozen patents list him as one. He prefers “innovator.” Either way, the Wilmington, North Carolina, mechanical engineer and former product developer — his résumé includes military missile electronics, the George Foreman Spin Fryer, and fuel-tank mechanisms for the F-22 Raptor jet recognizes the need for a new device when he sees one. Two years ago, as more and more people began waking up with itchy, red welts on their body, he realized the world needed a cheap and effective way to detect bedbugs.
They're not making any more real estate; not until we colonize other planets at least. Laying out our dead horizontally, and leaving them in peace forever, is becoming an expensive proposition. That's why inventor Donald Scruggs has come up with the screw-in coffin.
Holding a body vertically, it is screwed down into the ground securely, to optimize graveyards' use of space.
This past weekend, high school students from all over the country gathered at California's NASA Ames Research Center to meet their brilliant peers, present their groundbreaking research -- and chat with interested venture capitalists on the side.
Nikola Tesla, pioneering inventor, died penniless and unrecognized. We have previously mentioned his hipster cred, but it has taken until 2010, almost 70 years after his death, for the man and his achievements to be apotheosized in the medium of Drunk History.
If there were an award for best DIY hybrid hovercraft-airplane, Rudy Heeman would likely take home the prize. Heeman, who has been building hovercraft in his garage as a hobby for years, commandeered a few items from around the house -- a propane bottle from the backyard grill, some electronic implements from his daughter's toys, the odd part from his wife's car -- to create this hovercraft that actually takes to the skies when he pushes it to speeds over 45 miles per hour.
Flying cars may seem to keep receding into that deliciously-imagined future, but this, one of the earliest prototypes, hails from 1934. It is now slated to go up on the auction block in Atlanta this coming weekend, according to Wired's Autopia.
Russian leaders have occasionally demonstrated a weakness for pseudoscience during the nation's history. Now Russian scientists have rallied to expose Viktor Petrik, a modern-day inventor whose supposed innovations -- realized under self-hypnosis -- have won over the Kremlin. Petrik's ideas include a way to produce silicon for computer chips from fertilizer and a filter that can turn radioactive waste into safe, drinkable water, the Wall Street Journal reports.