Category Archives: Gadgets

Automatica

Nigel Stanford is a New Zealand musician who creates sound experiments using mechanics and technology. The music video for the title track on his new album, Automatica, was made by two thin orange boys: industrial robots.

Or, well, it looks like it was made by the robots. In fact, the robots aren’t playing the music you can hear — instead, a combination of special effects and sped-up footage was used to make it look like they are. Stanford told The Verge that the video is essentially a performance, although the music was specifically written to sound like something the robots could play.

Behind the scenes:

 

Sleeping Bag in a Can!?

First commercial movie screened

On December 28, 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.
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Hobby

Hippo Zippo

Miatas in Sync

In Case of Fire

McGenius?

Posted over the weekend to the McDonald’s New Zealand Facebook page with the caption “McGenius?” the interlocking containers would put a sandwich on top of a beverage cup, covered by a fry bin that would have indentations on the top where you could store condiments.

So rather than walking down the street with a to-go bag, you’d have a tower of food.

We’re not quite sure it would be a good idea to stack a hot sandwich on top of a cold drink (the possibility for condensation, melting ice, and leakage scare us), the top fry layer seems destined to pop open and vomit fried potatoes all over the place, and it all seems rather top-heavy, so if you stub your toe on a curb or get jostled by a rude pedestrian, it seems like your whole lunch could go Jenga on the sidewalk.

Marble Machine – Triple Gears Lift

SlideWheel

Touch at your own risk!

While visiting the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., a curious guest approached the touch activated Virtual Shark Tank and reached out to touch the glass, repeating the movement over and again. The lack of immediate results left the patron completely unprepared for what came next, when a giant (simulated) shark appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to break the virtual glass of the virtual tank. The unsuspecting guest was so surprised that he fell onto the floor in shock.

Furniture for his majesty…

Self-Driving

LEGO Lawn Mower Man

Homemade Tank!

The 18-year-old high school student behind the YouTube channel MacroMachines spent 14 months building an incredible drivable 40% scale World War II era M26 Pershing tank that he took out for a spin around the yard. His entire build process is available to view on YouTube.

How Does a Glass Top Pool Table Work?

Smallest Working Train-Set

Advanced Useless Machine

A man was shopping at a thrift store in Oceanside, California last week when he came across a very strange Atari console. Some quick Googling told him it was a rare prototype for the Atari 2700, an un-produced wireless follow-up to the 2600. He bought it for $30. 

And then he sold it on eBay for $3,000.

Planned for release in 1981, the Atari 2700 was a new iteration of the popular early video game console. Compatible with all Atari 2600 games and accessories, the core difference between the 2700 and its predecessor was a pair of wireless controllers that combined a joystick with a paddle.

The Atari 2700 got as far as marketing planning, as evidenced by the 1981 magazine ad above. It was a sleek unit, with built-in storage for the controllers in the console housing.

We spoke to National Video Game Museum director John Hardie about why the system never made it to market.

“Those controllers were really the main reason the system was never released. They were radio controlled and the range of the controllers was said to be about 1,000 ft. which means you could easily affect your neighbors system with your joysticks,” said Hardie. “Imagine living in an apartment building where that 1,000 foot range could potentially affect 3 or 4 other systems. Since the controllers were only unique to left & right players and not to the system itself, it also meant that a large family that might want to purchase 2 units would have the same issues.”

The Atari 2700, apparently discovered at the Disabled Army Veterans thrift store in Oceanside, California, was missing the controllers, though it does have ports for standard Atari 2600 controllers. While he could not hook it to a modern television, it did power up when he plugged it in.

Controllers or no, it’s still a very rare console. It’s said that only around a dozen prototypes were created, though John Hardie suspects the number might be higher.

“Personally I think there are more. There have been several that have popped up over the years. In fact, in addition to the 3 that we have, we can probably account for another 5-6 out there. So, given the propensity of companies (especially Atari) to destroy/throw out products that were scrapped, it seems highly unlikely that 8-9 of the original 12 survived. In fact those would be amazing odds. But I suppose anything is possible.”

Like finding an incredibly rare Atari 2700 prototype at a thrift store, for instance.

Get Your Head Out of Your Apps!