Saturday, September 19, 2009

Revomaze - extreme mechanical puzzles

Revomaze - extreme mechanical puzzles
I'm not entirely sure how you operate this mechanical puzzle, but they sure make it sound difficult to solve. It comes in three levels of difficulty for personalized levels of frustration.

From the ThinkGeek.com description:
Individually milled from a solid block of metal, the Revomaze features an internal labyrinth full of dead ends, traps, and one way paths you need to navigate to remove the metal core and solve the puzzle.

What makes the Revomaze truly great is its challenge to both your mental and physical aptitude. You need dexterity to manipulate the Revomaze as well as brain power to ferret out the correct path in the labyrinth. One wrong move and you're forced to start from the beginning. However the Revomaze is very fair minded... you screw up, you get punished, but you're always aware of whether you are making progress towards the solution.

Here's the link for the Revomaze mechanical puzzles.


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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly

Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly: 28 Top-Secret Projects You Can Build from the Toy Inventor's Workshop
This book looks fantastic! I just ordered it.

From the book description:
Inventive and unique, this dynamic collection of woodworking projects teaches the basic skills needed to make exciting, action-packed toys. From rapid-fire nickel launchers and ball-and-socket robots to a monkey-toss gumball machine, each project includes a color photograph, a tools and materials list, a full diagram, woodworking plans, and instructions for using the finished product. Covering all the methods necessary for creation—selecting wood, drilling and shaping, making wheels and axles, and decoration—these constructions are simple enough for children and parents to complete together, all in an afternoon's time.

Here is the link to Zany Wooden Toys That Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly: 28 Top-Secret Projects You Can Build from the Toy Inventor's Workshop


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Contraption" automaton by Tom Haney

Enjoy this video of Tom Haney's latest automaton called "Contraption". The end of the video features some cool "in-progress" still photographs.

Check out more of Tom Haney's work on his web site.


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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Antique alarm clock with automatic candle snuffer

Carriage clock with automatic candle snuffer
Here's a really nifty gadget clock dating between 1840 and 1875.

From the eBay listing item description
The rear left corner of the clock has a candle tube, and the front has a cantilevered arm that is activated by a time setting on the clock. Upon reaching the desired time setting, the arm lowers and the cup on it’s end snuffs out the candle.There is also a wake-up alarm setting. So we here have a clock that tells the owner when to go to sleep, and when to wake up!

Here's the link for more info on this Carriage clock with alarm and automatic candle snuffer


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Rovio: personal tele-presence robot by WowWee

Rovio:  personal tele-presence robot by WowWee
Robotic toy-makers WowWee venture into the fully-adult world of robotics with their relatively new tele-presence robot dubbed, Rovio.

Marketed as a home sentry, they may have overstated its capabilities a bit. While it may not be stopping any intruders, it is an intriguing robot nevertheless.

You'll need a full-fledged computer with a broadband internet connection and wireless at the location where Rovio is to be used. The robot can then be controlled by any remote internet-enabled device.

The Rovio sends back both audio and tv-resolution video streamed in MPEG4 format. It has a two-way speaker/microphone setup that allows you to "talk" with entities on the robot-end of the arrangement. It can also take snap-shots and find its own way back to its recharging base. Not bad for $300.

Now...what to do with it? The stand-in for business meeting, "Say goodnight to daddy", and pet-soother all seem a bit of a stretch to me. I think it's best to assume, that you can use the Rovio to take a look around your place (one flat level of it anyway) when you are not there. While a more modest goal, that could truly be useful.

Here's a page with a full description and video of the Rovio robot.


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sale at ThinkGeek.com - Rebate

The Geeks have been busy searching the universe for the most unique and interesting products available. With the holidays around the corner ThinkGeek.com has some offers with extra "geek appeal" like the one below. The have tons of great gizmos, spy gadgets, and a variety of mechanical toys.

Save $5 to $10 on Orders of $25 to $50 or more!
Here is one offer in which you get $5 off of orders of $25 or more!

That's a good discount.

For this offer, use the discount code "BRAINS".


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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Two Ingenious & Elusive Mechancial Alarm Clocks

The Flying Alarm Clock
Have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Here is an alarm clock that will force you get out of bed.

You see, when the digital alarm clock goes off at the prescribed time it launches a rotor into the air that flies around the room as the alarm sounds. The clock will not stop ringing until the rotor is returned to the alarm clock base.

Here's where you can learn more about the The Flying Alarm Clock.

The Runaway Alarm Clock.
Does this seem like the kind of thing you need but you don't want a propeller flying about your room? No problem. Here is the terrestrial equivalent. This little bugger rolls off your bedside table and and hides. It continues to emit a random pattern of beeps and flashes until you get up to shut it off.

Here's where you can get the The Runaway Alarm Clock.


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