THE BEST Awesome

Nixie Chess Set

Nixie Chess Set

A truly unique chess set that uses old-school nixie tubes as its game pieces. Each tube displays a symbol on top representing its position, and they glow without wires or plugs thanks to wireless inductive power. Also available as a DIY Kit for about $300 less.

Yoshi in Sonic 2

Yoshi in Sonic 2

An awesome fan-made mod for the SEGA Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog 2, adding one of Nintendo’s heroes. The hack lets you play as Yoshi, along with his abilities from Yoshi’s Island. If you’re willing to download random files from the internet, enjoy.

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Open/Closed Sign

Open/Closed Sign

A thorougly clever design for a sign which can transform from reading “open” to “closed” while fully concealing the letters which are currently not in use. You can download the designs to 3D print your own over on Thingiverse.

Surfing Nazaré’s Mega Swells

Surfing Nazaré’s Mega Swells

Red Bull presents a mindblowing compilation of footage of daring surfers riding (and wiping out) on some of the incredible waves at Nazaré, Portugal, which can reach heights of 100 feet or more during peak swells.

Burger-flipping Robot

Burger-flipping Robot

Miso Robotics‘ “Flippy” can automatically identify burgers and other items on the griddle, and flip them at the right time. It’s rolling out to the CaliBurger chain over the next couple of years, and eventually will help line cooks with other tasks. We want a Mise en place bot.

Violin-Playing Machine

Violin-Playing Machine

Way more than an ordinary player piano, this incredible contraption is called the Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina. It can play a set of three violins using a special rotating circular bow, and dozens of mechanical “fingers” which press on the strings. More here and here.

Drinking Straw Photography

Drinking Straw Photography

Artists Cliff Haynes and the late Michael Farrell built a camera comprised of 32,000 drinking straws which act as light paths in front of a sheet of film. When exposed, they result in an ethereal pointillist image. The project is documented in the book Straw Camera.

Origami Bulletproof Shield

Origami Bulletproof Shield

A team of mechanical engineers from BYU have developed a lightweight, foldable shield which can protect multiple law enforcement and emergency personnel from gunfire. Made from 12 layers of Kevlar, it weighs about 40% less than the cumbersome shields used today.

Roomscale Wireless Power

Roomscale Wireless Power

Scientists from Disney Research are working on tech which uses something called “quasistatic cavity resonance” to emit magnetic fields that can safely deliver up to 1900 watts of wireless power to devices placed anywhere in a room. It’s still in its infancy, but the result is awesome.

Michael Bolton: Singing Barista

Michael Bolton: Singing Barista

♫ Iced hazelnut latte… with soy milk ♫ Vanity Fair managed to coax Michael Bolton into working behind the counter at Los Angeles coffee shop Alfred {Coffee + Kitchen}, where he was tasked with using his golden pipes to sing customers’ drink orders when they were ready.

Making a Sun Keeper

Making a Sun Keeper

Michael Cthulhu’s build videos are far more exhaustive than other weapon making videos, but we enjoyed being a fly on the wall in his metal shop, and hearing his him explain his thought process as he created a weighty replica of the Sun Keeper mace from Diablo III.

20-Shot Pinfire Revolver

20-Shot Pinfire Revolver

Forgotten Weapons examines a very special weapon. This ornate double-barrel handgun is not only covered with intricate gold inlay and engraving, it has 20 bullet chambers, and a really interesting firing mechanism. It ended up selling for $34,500 at auction.

Fishnado

Fishnado

We always thought a Sharknado was implausible, it turns out that a similar phenomenon really does occur in nature. BBC Earth’s Blue Planet shows us hows swarms of anchoveta fish assemble into massive swirling schools to fend off predators.

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DIY Magnetic Catapult

DIY Magnetic Catapult

Using a spoon, some nuts and bolts, and a few strong Pot magnets, Magnetic Games shows us how to build a desktop catapult which can launch projectiles with the push of a thumb. The more powerful the magnets, the further it will throw objects. Original design here.

Smells Like 1000 Musicians

Smells Like 1000 Musicians

For their latest concert, Rockin 1000 gathered more than 1000 singers, drummers, bassists, guitarists, and generally awesome people got together to rock out an epic performance of Nirvana’s 1991 classic, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Trash Animal Street Art

Trash Animal Street Art

As a statement on wasting resources, artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, aka Bordalo II takes all kinds of found junk like car parts, tires, and old appliances, and transforms them into works of street art which represent some of the many animals who are threatened by our excesses.

DIY Cardboard Terminator Arm

DIY Cardboard Terminator Arm

MudbrainsTvDIY gives us a brief glimpse at an amazing build – he replicated the T-800 arm that Miles Dyson had in Terminator 2. It’s made entirely from cardboard, glue, and varnish. If you’ve got about 7 hours to spare, you can watch how he built it, step by laborious step.

Make Noise 0-COAST Synth

Make Noise 0-COAST Synth

A crazy cool modular single-voice analog synthesizer that’ll have you cranking out fat beats, crunchy noises, and amazing electronic sounds for your musical creations. It works completely standalone, or can be controlled by studio apps, sequencers, or keyboards via MIDI.

Working Robocop ED-209 Costume

Working Robocop ED-209 Costume

For their scene in the feature-length Robocop remake, Ghostlight built this fantastic replica of the villanous, but flawed ED-209 robot from the original Robocop. But instead of just being a static mockup or a scale model, this one is full size, and can be walked in by a puppeteer.

The Concrete Zamboni

The Concrete Zamboni

It might be officially called a Wacker Neuson Hydrostatic Trowel, but these ride-on machines are like a zamboni for concrete, smoothing and finishing the building material, thanks to water jets and fan blades which spin just above the surface. (Thanks Kathy!)

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World’s Biggest RC Helicopter

World’s Biggest RC Helicopter

This scale model of an EC-135 ADAC Notarzt Christoph 33 helicopter is so ridiculously huge that it might as well be the real thing. It weighs in at about 108 pounds, has an 11.5 foot rotor diameter, and gets its lift from a turbine engine. Skip to 3:45 to watch it take off.

Crazy LEGO Railways

Crazy LEGO Railways

YouTuber BANANENBUURMAN loves to build over-the-top dioramas and environments using a LEGO model train as his main form of transportation. He’s built a set that runs through an aquarium tunnel, a ridiculously long track, and even figured out how to do a loop de loop.

ChainFORM

ChainFORM

Engineers from MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group developed a unique tangible interface – a modular system which can change shape and color, and detect inputs anywhere along its surfaces. If we ever need a robotic pet snake or caterpillar, we know who we’re calling.

DIY 20,000 Gallon Home Aquarium

DIY 20,000 Gallon Home Aquarium

“It’s not so much the fish… I like the challenge of keeping them alive.” We’ve seen a homemade 10,000 gal aquarium. Now let’s check out one that’s double that. It was designed and mostly built by Bill Wann, a natural born inventor.

Liftware Steady & Level

Liftware Steady & Level

People with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s or other disabilities can have issues with stability or the angle of their hands, making it difficult to eat. The Liftware Steady can overcome tremors, while the Liftware Level keeps utensils flat regardless of the user’s hand position.

Dodge Shakedown Challenger

Dodge Shakedown Challenger

One of the cooler builds at SEMA 2016, this 1971 Challenger combines classic style with modern performance. It rocks a brand new 392 Hemi V8 crate engine packing 485hp, a lowered suspension, and Hellcat brakes. We love the “Bitchin Black” paint and minimal red accents.

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