DIY Gadgets

Making your own or hacking gadgets can be great fun, hear we share the various DIY gadget projects that we’ve found or done.


More Than Just A Banana Piano shows how one can rock out with fruit

by Edwin - on September 18th, 2014

So, your little one has been hankering after you for the longest time to actually buy a piano so that he or she will be able to compose the next Grammy winning song, and with you as his or her manager, you will end up not having to slog at whatever job you’re at right now. Sure, a real good piano is not going to come cheap even if it is on sale, but this does not mean that you are unable to fulfill your little one’s wish and deepest desire. You, being an oddball yourself, have always taken the route less traveled, which is why you have set your eyes on the $49.95 More Than Just A Banana Piano.

While the More Than Just A Banana Piano is not going to be able to churn out melodious tunes that would send a listening crowd to stand up and deliver a rapturous applause, it will be able to belt out some decent tunes. In fact, the More Than Just A Banana Piano was designed by former MIT students, targeting young inventors and adult tinkerers where the device itself will replace 11 computer keyboard keys and seven mouse actions, and this is achieved thanks to a set of alligator clip cables and a microcontroller-powered circuit board. Squeezing a connected banana will let you play a note on a computer’s piano, and tapping on a drawn picture of up, down, left, and right arrows ought to let one play majority of the online games. As long as the object is able to conduct some electricity, it will work, so go bananas with this!

DIY Mini Arcade Cabinet lets your creative juices flow

by Edwin

diycabinetEver wondered how fun it would be if you were to actually live in an arcade itself? You know, being surrounded by arcade cabinets and all. It would certainly be a dream for a fair number of us out there, but then again, such a scenario is practically impractical in this day and age, although you might be able to pull it off if you were single. What if you do not have to purchase life sized arcade cabinets? What if you were to settle for the wonders of miniaturization, in the form of the $159.99 DIY Mini Arcade Cabinet?

Those who have laid their eyes on the DIY Mini Arcade Cabinet would say that this is the most adorable MAME cabinet to be released so far, but unless you have a penchant for DIY projects, you might want to give this particular one a miss since it requires a fair bit of assembly to get the job done. Also known as the Cupcade, this happens to be a Raspberry Pi-powered micro arcade cabinet kit that is ideal to deliver gaming on the move, wherever you are, without folks around you suspecting anything else other than you being extra productive. You can basically play ROMs that are loaded onto an SD memory card, including the likes of Ms. Pacman, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Arkanoid, DigDug, and Gauntlet, alongside other classic Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) titles at full speed. Just make sure you are pretty adept at soldering and coding before you pick this up.

Build Your Own Jumping Robot and look like a genius

by Edwin

jumping-robotJust because you do not have an engineering degree, or are not schooled in a robotics course when you were at a higher institution of learning, that does not mean you are unable to come up with your very own robot. If the so-called raw materials are easily available to you, perhaps with the right guidance and instruction, you will be able to churn something out? This is what the $49.95 Build Your Own Jumping Robot expects you to experience, and the name of it says it all.

The Build Your Own Jumping Robot happens to be a special kit which will teach the little ones about the world of robotics and mechanics, and it is made possible through the assembly of a robot that can jump. Being particularly colorful so that it can capture the attention of your little ones, this jumping ‘bot will feature clawlike hands and an otherworldly blue helmet. What makes up the central theme and its ability to live up to its name would be a central spring and a pair of snail-shaped cams located within each arm. Each time the robot is turned on, the cams will rotate and compress the spring, and when the spring is released, it is time to see this little robot bounce off the ground like a kangaroo, as it exhibits the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Do bear in mind that a trio of AAA batteries are required to get this puppy up and running.

DIY Nixie Tube Clock Kit offers retro time telling capability

by Edwin

nixie_tube_clockWhen it comes to telling the time, there are many different ways of doing so. In fact, most of us these days tend to rely on our smartphones and tablets to tell the time, with the humble wristwatch functioning more as a fashion accessory than anything else. Well, for those of you who would like to spruce up your home or office desk with a clock that is bound to elicit conversation whenever someone drops by your abode, then you would not be able to go wrong with the $199.99 DIY Nixie Tube Clock Kit.

The DIY Nixie Tube Clock Kit will let you enjoy fun with the “LEDs” of yesteryear, where this limited-edition DIY kit will target makers. Of course, one will require a decent amount of soldering experience in the first place before you get started on this bad boy, so you will have to have steady hands and an interest too. The ability to read schematics would definitely come in handy as well, and with the DIY Nixie Tube Clock Kit, you can opt to view time in 12h/24h display mode, while an integrated motion sensor lets you change settings accordingly. Heck, it even comes with the ability to set daylight-savings, now how about that? An alarm function also makes it all the more functional instead of being just aesthetically pleasing, and it also packs the ability to transmit IR data packets to another clock. Surely this is not too different from the DIY Nixie Tube Desk Clock.

Groundbreaker is the ultimate Multi-Tool device for wiring jobs

by Edwin

groundbreakerWhen you have a particular tool that is known as the Groundbreaker which claims to be able to deliver its role as the ultimate “Multi-Tool” device when it comes to wiring jobs, surely there is ground (pardon the pun) to believe such claims, especially when one has dropped a whopping $129.99 on the Groundbreaker already. In a nutshell, it ought to be your toolbox that screams for this particular tool to be part of the arsenal, instead of it being the other way around.

“One tool to rule them all,” you can say so. DIY enthusiasts would definitely be able to find that the Groundbreaker is worth checking out and of course, purchasing. Considering how Father’s Day is around the corner soon, you might want to make sure that dad gets something slightly different this year instead of the usual necktie or yet another long sleeved shirt. In fact, you might actually gain additional enthusiasm in performing DIY jobs around the home with the Groundbreaker, so much so that when a light blows, you would also love to replace the switch and wiring as well. It sports crimpers, copper wire cutters, wire strippers, and more, all rolled within a single package.

FLORAbrella brings color to a gloomy day

by Edwin

florabellaIt does not matter if it is going to rain 40 days and 40 nights once more, and while you might perish with the rest of the world in the next global flood, at least you can go out cheerfully – thanks to the wonders of the FLORAbrella. With the FLORAbrella, you will end up as a rainbow in the midst of a storm, so to speak, thanks to its NeoPixel LED strips and color sensor which enables you to match your clothing, or display rainbow and rain patterns if you so desire.

This is a project that will require some hands-on experience though, since you will need to create the circuit in the first place before mounting it in the dome of the umbrella, followed by finishing it nicely through the creation of clear vinyl hammocks for the battery, FLORA and color sensor. It will require an intermediate-level of knowledge alongside its fair share of precise soldering on the LED strips, but the end result is definitely well worth the effort, I must say!

DIY Lunar Modules Light-up Paper Toys are fun and cheap

by Edwin

lunar-modules-lightup-paper-toysNormally, when we talk about papercraft, most of the time it would have nothing to do with electricity or the ilk, as a pair of scissors and some glue would be able to do the trick. Well, the $15.99 DIY Lunar Modules Light-up Paper Toys might be something that parents would want to check out, especially when you take into consideration just how expensive some childrens’ toys can get these days. The electric papercraft that you see here will come combined with an electronics kit, where you will be able to toy with a trio of landers, namely the Spaceboy, Alien Girl, and Tabula Rasa (which is blank, in order for you to jazz it up with your own art).

The DIY Lunar Modules Light-up Paper Toys have been described to be a perfect combination of papercraft and electronics, where it is officially known as “papertronics.” These are paper toys with electronic circuits within, and turning on your DIY Lunar Modules Light-up Paper Toys would make them cool night lights that kids would love to own in their room, or adults at their special project bench in the basement or up in the attic. All that you need is some imagination, some artistic ability and a little extra tape, and you’re good to go. Each purchase comes with a trio of Lunar Modules, 3 resistors, 3 LEDs, 3 strips of metal tape, 3 batteries (CR 2032), and the relevant instructions.

LEGO Keyboard is certainly irresistable

by Edwin

lego-keyboardThere is just something magical about these tiny little plastic bricks known as LEGO which are able to fit with one another perfectly, and removed easily to boot with but a single pry of the fingernail. All it takes is the imagination of a master builder in order to get the job done, wowing whoever lays their eyes on your masterpiece. Jason Allemann can be said to be one of those master builders, where he does carry an air of achievement around him, being famous for many of his LEGO creations in the past. This time around, it would be a fully functional LEGO keyboard that has captured the attention of the masses.

This LEGO keyboard was created using official LEGO pieces in addition to a circuit board from a standard keyboard (but of course). It is rather interesting to see the various kinds of substitutions that Jason has made concerning the various keys, including CAPS Lock, the Windows Key, as well as Print Screen. The working man’s hat makes it all too tempting to press each time you take a look at the LEGO keyboard, don’t you think so?

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