Simone Giertz used to make stupid robots, but she’s moving up in the world. Her latest invention is wildly practical. While looking for a solution for hanging clothes in shallow spaces, she came up with Coat Hingers – folding metal hangers that hold clothes in half the space. The design looks simple, but it took massive amounts of prototyping to get it right.
Zip ties, aka cable ties, are great at bundling cables and attaching items. The only thing we don’t like is having to find scissors or shears to cut off the excess. Zip-Tite tie wraps solve this problem by indenting the edges of each tie so you can break them off at any length without tools or sharp edges. Plus, they retain the tensile strength of regular zip ties.
To follow up on his bicycle that runs on diagonally-mounted tracks instead of wheels, The Q is showing off another unusual bike design. This one rolls along the ground on tracks that lie flat on the surface. It looks more stable than the first design – but there’s more rolling resistance, so it needed a huge center gear to provide enough torque to move it.
Handling pesticides can be quite dangerous. To help protect himself, inventor Handy Geng decided to fabricate a mech suit he can wear while spraying for insects. The winged metal armor has built-in spray tips and keeps overspray off his skin, while a mask in the helmet filters out chemical vapors. (Turn captions on.)
Pizza restaurants strive to deliver your pizza while it’s hot, but that’s not always possible. Colin Furze came up with an overengineered solution to the problem. Rather than insulating already-cooked pizzas, his Suzuki pizza delivery motorcycle has a built-in oven to cook pizzas while in transit. He built the oven from scratch using sheet metal and hydroforming.
With his backyard teeming with mosquitoes, Allen Pan found inspiration in a TED Talk by Nathan Myhrvold for a machine that zapped mosquitoes out of the air with lasers. While that never came to fruition, Pan and laser expert StyroPyro came up with something simpler – a sort of fly swatter that uses a pair of powerful laser beams instead of a mesh screen.
Matty Benedetto is known for making things we don’t need but seem like plausible products. After completing hundreds of projects on his Unnecessary Inventions channel, he revisited three of his earlier builds to apply new skills he’s gained. He started with a motorized ice cream cone spinner, and things get sillier from there.
Musician Nicolas Bras is known for inventing some truly unique musical instruments from off-the-shelf parts. In this video, he shows us how to build a simple string instrument from metal cans, wood, an electric guitar string, and a little water. You can grab blueprints to make your own aquatic harp on Patreon or download digital sound samples from Soundpaint.
If you’ve got kids, you can bet LEGO bricks will be scattered all over the floor at some point. Inspired by David Wallace’s idea on The Office, Matty Benedetto of Unnecessary Inventions built a shop vacuum attachment that sucks up all of the loose LEGO bricks and automatically sorts them by size.
After building a bicycle that rides on square wheels using tank-like tracks, The Q applied his creativity and engineering skills to create a bike that has no wheels at all. Instead, it rolls around on skinny, angular tracks with a very small contact point with the ground. We’re impressed he can balance on this thing.
Hand Tool Rescue previously created a unique tabletop vice with jaws that used a fractal design to grip irregular objects. He came across a 1913 patent for a fractal device – a chair that uses rotating sections to adapt to the shape of someone sitting on it. He collaborated with Josh Fick to create the metal parts with a fiber laser.
We’re most creative as children because our imaginations have yet to be restricted by things like cost, practicality, and safety. Allen Pan asked his audience to relay some of their craziest childhood inventions and made his best effort to make them real. He started with shoes for climbing on ceilings; then, things get really dangerous.
There’s a good reason that wheels are round: friction. But basic physics are never going to stand in the way of mad builder The Q. His latest creation is a standard bike frame with one major modification – it rolls on custom-made square wheels. It rides pretty smoothly, but it also doesn’t work how we assumed it would.
Most DoorDash and GrubHub deliveries are made using gas-guzzling cars sitting in traffic. Zipline hopes to change that with drones that hover 400 feet up, then lower a small delivery unit to quietly and safely drop off small packages. Mark Rober explains the tech and how Zipline has been saving lives with their existing drones.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. And apparently, war creates a lot of necessities. So it’s no wonder so many things get invented for the military. Mental Floss digs into nine popular items that you probably didn’t know started with a military purpose from Silly Putty to Slinkies to powdered cheese.
A little candlelight can really enhance the mood. But an unattended candle will burn all the way to the bottom. Rescue & Restore shows us a clever 19th-century invention that could be placed atop a burning candle and that automatically cut off its oxygen supply after it had burned for a set amount of time.
It hasn’t been that long since people used landline telephones, tape players, and VCRs on an everyday basis. But like so many other devices, they’ve been replaced by smartphones or other technology. Rhetty for History looks at these and other inventions which were popular in the 20th century and are now obsolete.
Handy Geng is showing off another unnecessarily complicated invention. His latest build is a multifunctional fishing rod with an ice-breaking shovel on one end, a smartphone-controlled motorized reel, accent lighting, and the ability to detect when a fish is on the hook. It also works as a pot stand for cooking your fresh catch.
Now that we’ve got your attention, we’re here to reveal that the hydraulic exosuit that Handy Geng created is not for self-pleasure but for tenderizing beef. It’s still a ridiculous idea, and just the kind of thing we’d expect from the man who gave us the corn on the cob machine. It can also provide massages and chop veggies.
Farming is a tricky business. When growing a crop like rice, it’s not easy to access the plants to apply nutrients or pesticides. This clever farmer uses a set of large balloons to suspend spray pipes over the plants, minimizing damage and keeping vehicles from getting stuck in the marsh.
Back in the day, some cars had a vent placed under the dashboard to blow cool air towards your crotch. For some reason, modern cars don’t offer this feature, so Unnecessary Inventions got to work building an add-on designed specifically for cooling your privates while driving. We’re also jealous that he has a Bronco.
Despite the name of his channel, Matty Benedetto’s Unnecessary Inventions occasionally does create something we could use. His Burrito Bumper is one such item. Pre-load its base with a tortilla, place its funnel beneath your chin, and any time you spill burrito ingredients, they end up inside the taco. Second course served!