Nothing motivates like peer pressure, whether it’s friends goading you into one shot too many or friends tracking your power consumption on Twitter. That’s the thinking that led Limor Fried and PopSci contributing editor Phil Torrone, circuit wizards who run the electronics-kit seller adafruit.com, to cross a small power monitor with an XBee wireless home-automation module and a few lines of code.
The Jetlev-Flyer propels itself using a torrent of water
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.30.2009 at 10:58 am 38 Comments
When Raymond Li decided to build a jetpack propelled by water instead of rocket fuel, most of his friends thought he had gone crazy. Worse, engineers told him it would be impossible to manage the water’s mass and thrust to keep it stable in the air.
Self-described "Mr. Fix-It" Trent Whatley was tired of having to replace parts of his gas grill every year, so he decided to build a brand-new one out of a V8 engine from an old Chevy. First he spent about 15 hours painstakingly removing the guts from the engine with a plasma cutter and smoothing all the jagged edges. Then he sand-blasted it to remove rust and had it cleaned professionally at a machine shop.
Nothing puts the DIY in climbing a building like a homemade pair of suction gloves. Inventor Jem Stansfield used his vacuum-powered device to clamber up the 120-foot aluminum wall of the White City building in London last week.
Every home needs lights. But for the Green Dream? Forget copper wire between lights and light switches, three-way switches and batteries; I'm looking at Verve's lighting control system—-a wireless solution that uses radio frequencies to control a home's lights, allowing you to put your light switches wherever you want--on your wall, in your pocket or even the dash of your car.
A range finder was installed on the Prism's neck to provide a Theramin-like effect of pitch bending.
Building your own guitar or synthesizer is impressive enough. But when you decide to smash the two music makers together -- and throw some lasers in for kicks -- the end result is the jaw-droppingly awesome "Prism."
A new tabletop cutting device promises to make at-home fabrication as easy as Ikea. Microfactory MOW is a portable tabletop cutter that can cut patterns from thin sheet materials, including cardboard, wood, and polypropylene. Even better, designers can share their patterns online and also upload new designs to MOW via Bluetooth.
Yamaha and Fabian Cappello teamed up to deliver this modified typewriter, which has each key wired to play a different musical note as you type. The end result is a sentence that also plays out as a melody.
Chris Varenhorst, the MIT engineering student responsible for this hydraulic-powered door that can be opened with the tap of an iPhone app or the rap of a secret knock sequence, says that after a long day of studying, he doesn't want to waste time messing with keys. We have a different theory.
Our second all-digital Genius Guide shows you 99 ways to save energy— and money— at home this summer
By Mark Jannot, Editor-in-ChiefPosted 07.06.2009 at 5:07 pm 10 Comments
Did you know you can cut your water use by 10 gallons a day by switching toilets? That a new washer and dryer could save you almost $150 a year? These are just two of the dozens of tips, tricks, facts and projects packed into the freeGreen Home Guide, the second in our series of digital special issues called Genius Guides, designed to make you an expert on one of the core PopSci topics. You can click through our animated home to see the worst spots for wasting power, air and water.