It may look a little bit like a sideways stargate, but this robot is designed to carefully position itself around a Jenga stack, methodically pluck out a wooden block, and move it to the top of the stack. We’d be curious to see if it could play an entire game, but we’re guessing not.
THE BEST Machines
This could be the most complicated clock ever built. We cannot imagine the engineering involved in getting all of its gears, pulleys, and pendulums to work together to tell time. Mark Frank and Buchanan’s masterpiece has been under construction for over a decade.
A brief and silent look at a high speed Tomra Sentinel II optical sorting machine, as it watches thousands of tomatoes whiz by, knocking the rejects off the line so they can be turned into ketchup and other products. The slow-mo bit at 1:14 shows the bad tomatoes getting kicked out.
After six months of work, builder Ben Tardif is close to putting the finishing touches on his latest marble machine – a miniature version of a miniature golf course. The video goes into quite some depth about the build, but if you just want to see it in action, you can skip to 15:20.
Techmoan checks out an awesomely complex bit of 1970s tech. The Panasonic RS-296US used a mechanical carousel filled with 20 extra-long cassette tapes to allow for up to 2.5 days of continuous music. There was no way to select individual tracks, but you could choose tapes.
A fun kit which lets you build your own motorized wooden marble machine. It sends a cascade of spheres spiraling to the bottom, then finding their way back to the top for an perpetual loop of marble madness. Available as a battery-powered or solar version.
The guys from the Hydraulic Press Channel took a momentary break from crushing stuff with their press, and dropped by Lillbacka Powerco to play with their Finn-Power crimping machine, which is capable of crushing small objects from all sides with 320 tons of force.
One of the stranger cooking machines we’ve seen – this thing takes in grain, salt, and water, then applies heat and pressure to make rice crackers. The resulting explosion causes them to fly out of its mouth like jet-powered frisbees. Here’s a similar 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.
For his latest one-day build, Adam Savage and his Tested pals cheated a bit, spending a couple of days cutting, welding, and assembling a complicated walking machine inspired by the work of Theo Jansen. And you thought assembling IKEA furniture was tricky.
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