Designers, inventors, and engineers frequently patent their ideas so they can’t be freely copied. Author Thomas Rinaldi’s fascinating coffee table book catalogs 1000 original patent drawings from iconic and ubiquitous objects such as furniture, lamps, appliances, and electronics.
Joseph’s Machines is known for over-engineering solutions to simple problems. In this video, he comes up with fixes for some common household cleaning challenges. His inventions include a drill-powered paper towel dispenser, an RC-car floor cleaner, and a clever way to put his dog to work.
Tired of flossing your teeth one at a time? Well, Unnecessary Inventions has the solution, a gadget which can floss all of your teeth at once. While it was designed as a joke, we could totally see someone selling such a device. Though we imagine reloading the floss would take way more time than just flossing normally.
A young engineer named Burke McGabe got it in his head to build something totally unnecessary but nonetheless entertaining. What looks like an ordinary wall clock is designed to automatically fall off the wall any time he looks at it to check the time. It’s seen better days after all of its crashes.
One of the challenges with swimming pools is what to do when you’re done with them for the day. You could put a pool cover over the top, or you could do what Sons of Metallerie did, and build an entire outdoor lounge that slides over the pool when it’s not in use. Here’s the view from the seats.
Like many of us, inventor Handy Geng wants to keep in shape. To help control his diet he built another completely over-engineered solution – a refrigerator encased in a steel frame, and held shut with a gear mechanism that demands an upper-body workout to access its contents.
We’ve really been enjoying the wacky inventions on Handy Geng’s YouTube channel. Among them is this metal chair that ensures whoever sits in it won’t fall asleep. It uses a set of terrifying spring-loaded spikes that pop out of its seat, and a goofy motion-sensor hat that triggers them if its occupant starts to nod off.
Removing corn kernels from the cob can be an arduous and time-consuming task. But not so for Handy Geng, who built himself a ridiculously over-engineered machine that spews out corn kernels by the hundreds after loading up its magazine. He probably should invest in a bigger basket though.
This unusual bicycle can expand to carry up to 180 kg (about 396 lb) of cargo at its center. Its rear wheel and drive chain fold down and out to provide extra space as needed. It’s also available with a pedal-assist electric motor to give you added momentum when carrying heavy loads.
Matty Benedetto is known for making Unnecessary Inventions. Here, he shows off an idea that we actually would consider buying – a coat hook that dispenses a shot of your favorite booze when you come home and hang up your coat. We’re hoping this one turns up in his shop.
Bcompact’s hybrid bamboo staircase is hinged and attaches to one wall, so it can fold up flat when not in use. They feature an aluminum handrail on one side that folds along with the stairs. Each one is custom-fitted for the specific installation. The video shows off a few other folding items from designer Zev Bianchi.
A few years back, a group of makers created a swing that was designed to pour water down, while keeping its users relatively dry. 6-year-old Seren decided she wanted the exact opposite, and the guys at Kids Invent Stuff obliged her with this crazy swing that keeps you cool and soaked on a hot summer day.
If there’s one thing we know about inventors is that they generally don’t just have one idea. Mental Floss‘ list show explains 35 times that famous inventors created something that they aren’t well known for. Who knew that Henry Ford made a car from soybeans?
Little Inventors is a UK-based non-profit organization that encourages creativity and innovation by asking children to come up with their own inventions, then collaborate with makers to build prototypes of them. SciFri dropped by to see what sort of wonderful madness they’re up to. You simply must browse the kids’ ideas.
Composer William Zeitler demonstrates a strange and wonderful musical instrument. The glass armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin back in 1761, and is a spinning series of custom-blown wine glasses, each of which plays a different musical note based on its size.
Inventor Dahir Insaat devised this concept for a bed that’s designed to protect you in the event of an earthquake. When it detects a severe tremor, it drops its user into a heavy duty shelter, protecting its occupant from falling debris, and providing access to survival gear.
Unless you’re a dog, there’s not too much to get excited about when it comes to door bells. But leave it to madman Colin Furze to figure out a way to build a door bell system bonkers enough to get his attention even when he’s working on one of his jet engine projects.