Monday, 01 Aug, 2011 Technology
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Top 10 DIY Inventions

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10. Tablet Computer Built from Scratch

A young man from China managed to create touchscreen device from different electronic components that he brought from his workplace.

The 21-year-old Liu Xinying decided to upload a video on a Chinese video sharing website in which he shows (in short) how he assembled the gadget.

It took him 2 weeks to make not only a Windows XP-running touchscreen device but also a detachable keyboard for it and a leather case.

Read more about it here.


9. Pedal-powered Snowplow

To be able to create the pedal-powered snowplow, Kevin Blake required an old lawnmower, a plow V-blade, old bike parts and 50 to 80 hours of work.

The most interesting feature of this DIY invention is that it relies entirely on solar energy.

Blake says that his snowplow is rather easy to operate. The user can raise and lower the plow blade and use it to clear a driveway, for example.

The inventor also decided to post online step-by-step instructions of his vehicle.


8. DIY Flying Vehicle

An inventor from India was inspired by several things when he designed his flying vehicle, one of them being drawn from the "Back to the Future" movie.

The 52-year-old A.K. Vishwanath says that his airborn version of the converted 800cc Maruti car can actually fly, featuring rotor blades attached to the roof and wheelarches that make up a "vacuum section".

It is worth mentioning that this vehicle boasts vertical lift-off and has been one of the main attractions at this year's Aero India air show that took place in Bangalore. The name of the vehicle is B'Lorean, which comes from the inventor's home town Bangalore and the famous DeLorean sports car.

Helped by a team of engineers, the inventor, finally, after 16 years, managed to complete his flying Maruti. Maruti was the first small car in India, being launched back in the 1980s by Suzuki.


7. Farm Equipment Made of Parts from Dump

Yolando Perez Baez, a Cuban countryman, this year presented his latest invention that helps him spray pesticide along 6 rows of crops simultaneously.

With this device, according to Baez, he saves a lot of time. This is because it allows him to spend only one hour spraying the field instead of the usual 6. Besides, previously he had to walk up to 5 miles, but now he only walks a mile or less.

Baez's invention was made from parts he found in the local dump. Primitive tools connected in one smart device allow the agronomist engineer not only to spray pesticides, but increase the speed of harvesting potatoes and more.

He even came up with his own hat that protects him from the hot sun.


6. Machine that Makes Oil from Plastic

Developed by a Japanese inventor, this machine is able to convert plastic back into oil, which gives hope that in the future plastic waste could be recycled, making oceans waste free.

The machine created by Akinori Ito can be of various sizes.

It can be used at home (if it's small) or at industrial plants that would recycle huge amounts of plastics.

The first prototype so far can convert 1kg of any type of plastic waste (be it polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene) into 1 liter of oil.

Despite the fact that the device needs 1 kilowatt of electricity to turn 1 kilogram of plastic into oil, it actually doesn't emit carbon dioxide. This is because the machine uses a temperature controlling electric heater instead of flame. The oil provided by the device can be used to make gasoline, diesel and kerosene.


5. Rainbow-generating Device

Michael Jones McKean, Virginia Commonwealth University professor, is the author of this rather interesting device that actually produces rainbows.

It does so by using natural materials such as rainwater and solar energy. After performing several successful tests in which his machine was able to make small rainbows, the inventor plans to build a larger machine that will produce big rainbows which people (especially children) could observe for 15 minutes.

The device is equipped with solar panels that generate clean energy, which is afterwards used to power a series of high-powered jet pumps. These pumps are connected to custom fountain nozzles that spray water up in the air. Thus rainbows are created.

McKean says that people will be able to see rainbows from as far as 1,000 feet.


4. Box that Harnesses Air to Make Water

Dubbed Groasis Waterboxx, the invention is the work of Dutch entrepreneur Pieter Hoff.

It represents a 20 x 10-inch box made of polypropylene. Interestingly enough the inspiration comes from bird poop.

The box was created after the way excrement keeps safe the seeds that birds have digested, offering humidity and protection from the elements so they can develop.

Hoff places the box around a young plant. At night, with the help of an insulation plate, the box is able to produce water through condensation. The cover of the box can also collect rainwater.

The produced water is used on the roots of a plant on a daily basis.

The box brings just enough water to help the plant's roots reach underground reserves. After that the Groasis can be used with another plant.

Hoff also managed to carry out a number of tests of his invention in the Sahara. The results were rather promising - 90 percent of trees helped by the box managed to survive.


3. Robot Child that Acts Like a Real Kid

Created by a childless couple, this 4-foot robot child, called Aimec (Artificially Intelligent Mechanical Electronic Companion 3), can act more or less like a real child. Judie Ellis and her husband Tony from Crowborough, East Sussex, programmed their robot in a way so it could tell jokes and laugh.

Besides, Aimec is also able to move around the house, using a pre-programmed map of the interior, and even snore during sleep. The robot is able to wirelessly connect to the Internet and look for things that it cannot understand. As soon as it finishes surfing the Internet, Aimec can talk on different topics. It can also be connected to different home appliances. Thus it will be able to turn on the TV, adjust the lights and more.

It would be interesting to note that for over 3 decades the couple has been working in the field of robotics and during that time were able to create several digital toys.


2. Solar-Powered Machine that Uses 3D Printer to Turn Sand into Glassware

Invented by Markus Kayser, the device called "Solar Sinter" makes use of solar energy to produce glassware.

In order to test his invention, Markus went to Egypt.

With the help of a 3D printer and sunlight, the machine was able to transform Saharan sands into nice glass sculptures.

It would be interesting to note that the device's is composed of several key components: PV panel, focal point used to capture sunlight, a sun tracker, Fresnel lens that magnify the rays of the sun, a battery and electronics to help Markus manage the whole process.


1. Man Recreates Saturn V Rocket in His Garage

A man from Waukesha, Wisconsin, managed to create a close replica of the Saturn V rocket, which back in 1960s and 1970s was used during the Apollo mission.

To be able to make the replica, Vern Hoag spent 2 years and $15,000. He was helped by his son, Michael and Rockets magazine was the one to sponsor the project.

The rocket turned out to be 25 feet tall, being made of wood, metal, screws and bolts. It is actually functional and includes 5 motors, propellants, cameras and other devices that would help it perform a successful take-off.

The inventor said that after the flight he intends to donate his rocket to a museum. Vern has already received several offers from a number of museums across the United States.


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