Using LEGO Technic components, it’s possible to build a toy weapon that fires ammunition using air pressure. After building some simpler LEGO pneumatic guns, Jamie’s Lego Jams created this impressive bit of kit that uses motors to pressurize air tanks. It fires plastic axles, knitting needles, and other skinny projectiles with a strong burst of air.
Aerospace engineer Tom Stanton has built a few R/C airplanes powered by compressed air. He’s continued to work on refining the design by reducing weight and increasing thrust. Tom’s latest pneumatic aircraft is the best yet, offering the best flight time of the bunch thanks to improved aerodynamics, a larger air chamber, and an efficient new engine,
Jamie’s LEGO Jams created this musical instrument that works sort of like a miniature pipe organ. It’s powered by compressed air stored in plastic soda bottles, which flows through plastic tubes and into a plastic pan flute. The real magic is made by the LEGO keyboard, which manages airflow by crimping and releasing the tubes. It sounds a bit like a calliope.
Composer and artist Sky Macklay shows off her Harmonitree, a wonderfully inventive musical instrument that plays harmonicas. It uses a tree-shaped inflatable airbag to push air through its harmonicas and can be left to make music on its own, but it is best when given a big hug for interactive sounds. She’s also built one that triggers with motion sensors.
The Fumpa Pump is a tiny air compressor for inflating bicycle tires. It outputs up to 120 psi and recharges through a micro USB port. The Fumpa fills up to six tires per charge. The space-saving miniFumpa can fill two tires per charge, while the nanoFumpa does one or two tires up to 110 psi. All three are compatible with Schrader, Presta, and Dunlop valves.
It’s easy to float a ping pong ball above a diagonal stream of air thanks to the Coandă effect. Mark Rober of Crunchlabs wanted to see what could be lifted with a stronger wind source than a blow dryer, so he subjected various household items to a high-pressure jet of compressed air.
If you’re like us and eat at your desk, you’ve got crumbs between your keycaps. The KeebMonkey Air Duster is a high-power blower designed for cleaning keyboards. Its long nozzle and brush tips get between keys, and blast debris away in seconds. It’s 6000 mAh battery provides up to 30 minutes of cleaning per charge.
Typical LEGO machines use motors to directly drive gears or belts. Brick Technology shows us how LEGO parts can be assembled to move pistons to move a crankshaft, which spins gears attached to a wheel or propeller. They start out with a 1-cylinder engine and gradually ramp it up to a 12-cylinder radial airplane engine.
JBV Creative has been playing with designs for a vortex cannon that fires a puff of smoke and a blast of air to create smoke rings. He’s refined his creation into this handheld unit with a mechanical iris to adjust the size of its smoke rings and an LED ring light to illuminate them.
Machines that fire tennis balls are as common. But we’ve never seen one that uses human power. Creative Machines’ ball cannon launches tennis balls up to 200 feet. Each time its handle is pushed, it raises a weight. When it reaches the top, it falls and becomes a piston, flinging balls into the sky using compressed air.
Find out what you’re really breathing in with this high-tech indoor air monitor that can analyze and track chemicals, dust, CO2, humidity, and temperature. Its companion mobile app then makes recommendations, and can even control other smart devices to help improve air quality.