Making homebrew drones can be quite tricky due to the precise balance and weight requirements of smooth flight. But thanks to the consistency of LEGO parts, Brick Experiment Channel was able to put together a reasonably stable – if somewhat fragile – LEGO flying machine using off-the-shelf motors and rotors.
THE BEST Tech
In December 2019, Adam Savage unwrapped one of the coolest Christmas gifts ever – one of Boston Dynamics‘ four-legged Spot robots. He then took it out for its first walk to learn just how good it is at walking on challenging terrain. Adam and the crew at Tested plan on putting Spot through its paces over the next year.
This unusual guitar effects pedal changes its sound based on whatever liquid you pour into it. Unscrew the watertight lid, pour in the beverage of your choice, and the conductive properties of said liquid will influence signal gain, while its opacity affects the equalization of the sound. Demo video here. (Thanks Mike!)
Adafruit Industries produces some really nifty components for making electronic gadgets. In this video, they show how their NeoPixel LED strips can be used with a one-way mirrored sheet, acrylic, and some 3D-printed bits to make an infinity mirror you can toss in your pocket. Build details and parts list here, and the source code is here.
Dimitar Tilev shows off a truly awesome R/C car build. This scale replica of a vintage Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 wagon packs an Arduino-controlled active suspension which can raise and lower, along with a rear-wheel drivetrain that makes it especially adept at drifting. We love the engine noises and light-up tailpipes.
James Bruton is always making cool and amazing things. His latest build is a version of Tickle-Me Elmo that can actually move and walk around thanks to an array of nine servo motors and a wheeled robot that pushes it along. The design was inspired by that creepy teddy bear in the Spielberg movie A.I. Part one here.
This portable Bluetooth gadget folds down small enough to toss in your backpack or other small bag, yet offers a full-function QWERTY keyboard when opened up. It also works in USB mode, and has a built-in touchpad, though that’s only compatible with Windows and Android devices. Measures 5.98″w x 3.82″d x 0.71″h folded.
You don’t see vector-based video games these days, but there was something really cool about systems like the Vectrex and games like BattleZone. Electronics wiz Mixtela was longing for the days of vector graphics too, so he built himself an impressive little system, complete with game cartridges. More details here.
Take your audio and video streams anywhere – with or without a wireless signal. Audials One 2020 is a Windows application that can record and save high quality streams from a variety of streaming music, video, and online radio stations, so you can keep and play them back any time. Save 66% in The Awesomer Shop.
Edelkrone’s motion control jib is an app-controlled tripod attachment that can smoothly and silently move your camera horizontally, vertically, or diagonally via its app. It’s compatible with the HeadPLUS and HeadONE motorized tripod heads, and packs down small enough to fit into Edelkrone’s backpack.
Want to shoot ultra-wide angle images with your iPhone? This high-quality glass fisheye lens has an 8mm focal length, increasing the width of the standard camera up a massive 238° field of view. Attaches securely to Lemuro’s case (sold separately).
It might take touch typists a little while to get used to the tweaked key positions, but computer accessory maker Logitech says the curved and split key design of its Ergo K860 wireless keyboard can help reduce muscle strain on your wrists and forearms. It also has scooped keys, and a palm rest with an adjustable angle from 0 to -7º.
Rec Room Masters offers two great ways to build your own full-size arcade system. Their Xtension Gameplay cabinet kits let you BYO Raspberry Pi computer and flat screen TV, giving your system clean, professional looks and real 2-player arcade controls. Available in 24″ and 32″ display sizes.
Sirui’s value-priced 50mm prime lens captures truly cinematic imagery, with a 2.4:1 ultra-widescreen ratio. It has an outstanding f1.8 aperture, can shoot from 0.85m to infinity, and produces impressive lens flares and bokeh. Built from aircraft grade aluminum with German-made Schott optics. Works with most APS-C cameras.
While the Apple Watch is a great gadget, it’s kind of a pain to have to carry a charging cable with you when you’re traveling. This magnetic charger changes that. It’s small enough to hang from your keychain, then plugs into your computer’s USB port to wirelessly juice up your watch on the go.
This hefty Bluetooth speaker cranks out 40-watts of power, and sounds better than speakers costing much more. It’s the perfect party speaker, with big bass and crisp highs, a convenient carrying handle, and excellent battery life, running up to 40 hours on a charge.
This pricey robot toy uses 22 programmable servo motors and joints to change from a mech into a vehicle, just like a Transformer. It can dance, pose, speak, walk, and drive like a car too. It’s fully-programmable via an app, and also supports voice commands.
Improve your golf swing in the comfort of your own office or living room. The PhiGolf system uses a special swing sensor works with your clubs or the included swing stick to track your every move. When used with the WGT Golf app mirrored from your smartphone to your TV, you can even see where the ball went.
Sonicware’s little electronic music maker cranks out some seriously fat sounds. It packs four synth engines, including 8-bit frequency modulation, as well as a step sequencer, effects, and looping, all for less than 200 bucks. It has 27 keys, MIDI in/out, stereo in/out, headphone out, and can run on batteries too.
Automaker Audi’s battery electric hatchback envisions a day when drivers spend less time driving, and the car does more of the work. Thanks to its Level-4 autonomy features, its steering wheel and pedals can retract when not needed, providing space to relax or work despite its compact size.
The Nintendo Switch has been wildly popular thanks to its great combination of games and portability. While the standard Joy-Cons are good, Shank Mods prefers his old GameCube controller for Super Smash Bros., so he went through the daunting task of splitting one in half and converting it to work with Switch.
If you’ve played God of War on the PS4, you’re probably familiar with Mimir, the disembodied head that helps guide Kratos and Atreus on their missions. Bar-El Studio created this animatronic replica of the egotistical character, complete with light-up mechanical eyes, and speech samples from the game.