Topic: inventions

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The power of creative constraints – TED Ed

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if yo...

Poet on the Shore by Yuxi Liu

An autonomous robot rolls across the beach. Though it might stop moving, its sensors haven't stopped taking in information about its surrounding environment: the waves, the wind, the sounds of people and animals both ...

Why don’t perpetual motion machines ever work?

Perpetual motion machines — devices that can do work indefinitely without any external energy source — have captured many inventors’ imaginations because they could totally transform our relationship with energy. Ther...

Turing Tumble, a DIY mechanical computer powered by marbles

The Turing Tumble, this small Pachinko-like puzzle game prototype, is also DIY mechanical computer. Programmer Paul Boswell designed the Turing complete toy to help kids (and adults) learn, see, and feel how computers...

Bouquet, a device that translates colors into fragrances

Point the cone at a patch of blue and sniff the other end. An ocean scent wafts through the nozzle and into your nose. The Bouquet color-to-smell translator was created in just one week by Erika Marthins, Arthur Mosca...

The Universal Tea Machine, a huge mechanical ‘adding computer’

"The better your binary addition skills the better your cup of tea!" The Universal Tea Machine by Smout Allen is a huge mechanical 'adding computer' that mixes tea and mixes tea, a British tradition that became popula...

The Scorpion-3 hoverbike, a ‘human-carrying drone’

This Scorpion-3 hoverbike is a cross between a motorcycle and a quadcopter, a 'human-carrying drone' that hopes to be "the next step in accessible amateur flying developed to inspire athletes, engineers, scientists an...

Designing solar panel walls that can recycle & heat greywater

What if the walls of your house could recycle the wastewater from your sinks, showers, baths, and washing machine? Architect Maria Paz Gutierrez is working with environmental engineer Slav Hermanowicz and bioengineer ...

Down to Earth: 28 pairs of shoes by artist Anna Vasof

From architect and media artist Anna Vasof, Down to Earth (2014) is a short video about 28 pairs of specially-made shoes that feature stamps, brooms, books, umbrellas, drums, and more. The objects change the function ...

The Glass Ribbon Machine

In 1879, Thomas Edison and his research team developed a durable carbon-filament light bulb. In the 1880s and 90s, when glass had to be blown by hand, the skilled Corning glassblowers that Edison hired could produce t...

The 1,000 year old windmills of Nashtifan

In the small village of Nashtifan, Iran, some of the oldest windmills in the world, with what may be the earliest windmill design in the world, still spin. From National Geographic: Made of natural clay, straw, an...

The toy-inspired Paperfuge, an innovative new tool in healthcare

Bioengineer and Stanford researcher Manu Prakash has developed another inexpensive scientific device. The Paperfuge is a hand-spun, ultra low-cost, paper and string centrifuge that was inspired by the ancient whirligi...

Madeline the Robot Tamer & Mimus

Inventor and designer Madeline Gannon developed a gesture-based robot communication software as an artist-in-residence at Pier 9 in San Francisco. She's now developed something (someone?) new as the next step in her e...

Walt Disney explains his studio’s multiplane camera technology

The multiplane camera, invented in 1937 for Walt Disney Studios by William Garity, was an incredible piece of technology that helped create the illusion of depth in animated motion pictures. Filmed in 1957, the multip...

This invention helped me write again – Emma Lawton

Graphic Designer Emma Lawton would draw and write as a large part of her work and daily life, but after being diagnosed in 2012 with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative brain disorder, using her hands...

ChainFORM, robot modules that can transform

Can one system of tiny robo-modules attached together in a line transform into multiple tools, interfaces, and creative opportunities? This is ChainFORM from a team at MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group, a hardware ...

The Rolling Dance Chair, an omnidirectional, hands-free wheelchair

So often, knowing someone who deals with a challenge can help us become more empathetic and more aware of possible solutions for that challenge. Having grown up with a father who she felt was "boxed in" by his manual ...

Building Art Machines with LEGO Technic pieces

From The Tinkering Studio located at San Francisco's Exploratorium, enjoy these pattern making art machines built with LEGO Technic beams, gears, and pins. The Tinkering team wrote up a quick art machines experiment g...

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