Short Circuit: The Gadget Blog
A blog about weird, funny, unexpected gadgets.

DS-Controlled Robot

February 7th, 2008 by

Sit back, watch the video, and prepare to be AMAZED.

I don’t even have to say anything, it is what it says. Yeah but you know me, I’ll say something anyway (my blog, mine!). This is a Pekee Robot modified by a bunch of engineering students to be controlled purely using NDS technology. Six ways to control it:

The D-pad, touchscreen, motion sensors, stylus strokes, a target mode modeled after Super Mario 64 DS, and voice commands via the mic.


The pros: You + your DS + this amazing idea = world domination. That and enough bragging rights to erase all your sad childhood memories. Spycam? Maybe.

The cons: It’s homebrew, you can’t have it.

Technorati tags: ds, nintendo, homebrew, remote, robot, controller, nds

Bubblegum Sequencer

February 4th, 2008 by
Bubblegum Sequencer

What could be better than music and candy coming together to form one glorious gadget and symbolize youth, peace and happiness?

Well, a lot of things (and I do acknowledge that the latter half of that sentence was weird), but this still ranks high up there on my list. It’s true, this sequencer uses bubblegum as its markers. Here’s how it works:

A grid of holes, consisting of several rows with 16 holes each is the canvas. On it, you arrange colored gumballs. The 16 columns represent the 16th-notes in a measure. Each color is mapped to a specific sample.

The Bubblegum Sequencer senses the position of the balls through a video camera mounted underneath the surface. The captured image is processed by a computer vision routine that computes the average color in each hole. The colors are quantized and mapped to notes. For each note, a MIDI event is generated and sent to the operating system’s MIDI bus.

Well that’s probably a bunch of jibberish to many, so basically it’s a gadget that uses the gumball colors to determine which “sound” to play. Okay because I’m lazy to explain more, I’ll just show you the video.

The pros: It’s fun! Come on, bubblegum and music, how can you go wrong? After playing, you and some friends can pop those candies into your mouths, completing the gumball experience.

The cons: The gumballs are food, so you’ll have to replace them every once in a while, that is if you don’t want them to go to waste. They could’ve used marbles… but then again. Bubblegum. Fun.

Technorati tags: bubblegum, sequencer, music, gum, beat, tempo, melody, cute gadget, food, candy, midi

The Floor-cleaning DVD Player

January 23rd, 2008 by
Floor Cleaning Robot

It sort of seems like a good idea, but then again what an odd combination — it’s a robot that cleans floors and shows you DVD movies through the projector on its head. It was manufactured by Tmsuk, and is officially called the RIDC-01.

The pros: You will have clean floors. You can watch movies. At the same time. It also had voice recognition.

The cons: You have a vacuum cleaner. You have a DVD player. This thing costs 85,000 USD. And what do you say to it? “You missed a spot. Oh, and could you go back to 24:51? That was funny.”

Technorati tags: floor-cleaning, robot, yoichi takamoto, tmsuk, projector, dvd

The Musical Chair

January 17th, 2008 by
The Musical Chair

GET IT? Okay I gotta admit, this looks cool. I found this on Jacob Mathew’s site, the same guy who gave you the Stereo Stilettos. By the way, that’s really what he calls it, the Musical Chair. Ha. Here’s his description:

Nourishing our appetite for the visceral, music provides for us a feast of sensation. The savory sounds that exude from this compression loaded design will feed that hunger for experience. Relish in the robust lows that emanate from the calcium carbonate poly-coned woofer seated in the belly of the chair. This delectable design is certain to add a little flavor to any dining experience.


The pros: It looks cool. Talk about being one with the music — you’ll really feel the music, literally.

The cons: If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably noticed that it looks like a funnel. That’s right. A funnel.

Technorati tags: musical chair, music, speaker, jacob mathew

Stereo Stilettos

January 15th, 2008 by
Stereo Stilettos

One word: Terminatrix.

But yeah I’ll shower you with more words anyway, coz that’s how I do.

They’re called the Stereo Stilettos, designed by a certain Jacob Mathew (that’s not a typo), for Mathew Audio. His love for music and tacky shoes have brought us this hit-or-miss contraption. As you may have guessed, the shoes are speakers. The leather purse? That’s actually a subwoofer. Not bad.

The pros: I’m guessing this has good sound since the designer claims to have a passion for music. It’s definitely gonna be unique, too. Blah blah boring pros.

The cons: In my opinion, the beauty of it is lost when you put each shoe on either end of your PC. Also, be careful if you’re giving this as a gift or placing it near other people’s shoes and purses, the confusion might cost you. Or it would make for a good prank (hey might be a pro after all…).

I’m kidding.

Technorati tags: shoes, stilettos, speakers, jacob mathew, purse, leather

Don’t Touch Me!

January 9th, 2008 by

Pink Seal Keychain

Pink and round, with a heart-shaped nose and that sweet stare. Would you believe me if I said that this seemingly harmless little accessory, has the power to immobilize a 300-pound man?

Pink Seal Stun Gun

Well, you shouldn’t. Coz it can’t.

It’s called the “Don’t touch Me! Lovely Pink Seal Stun Gun Lovely Taser Weapon” (Yes it is Japanese), and costs around 15.5 USD.

The pros: This is just a toy. It may work for self-defense, as it packs a mean(ish) 195V per zap. So that’s like sticking your fingers into a power outlet. Yes, I do consider that a pro. :D

The cons: I personally think it would’ve been better as an actual taser. I don’t know about you, but there’s something about those innocent eyes and blank stare that really does shout “deadly weapon” to me.

Technorati tags: seal, accessory, taser, zap, stun gun, pink, cute

La La La Headband

January 7th, 2008 by
La La La Headband

If you’ve ever had people walk around your desk, shouting at each other or at you about things that you aren’t interested in, then you’ve probably considered one of these options:

A. Slapping someone
B. Screaming at the top of your lungs
C. Turning your music up really loud
D. Plugging your ears with your fingers and chanting “Lalalalala”

I would recommend D. And what better gadget to help you get through that noisy day than this!

The pros: You can enjoy the peace and quiet plus the added factor of letting your officemate know that you don’t really wanna hear what they’re talking about, without actually having to stick your fingers in your ears. :D

The cons: It only has 4 fingers each hand. And it doesn’t come with the “Lalala” chant, so you’re gonna have to do that yourself. Oh and use it with caution, you don’t wanna be caught with it on to find out later that it was your boss talking to you.

Technorati tags: headband, lalala, noise, fingers, quiet

Rock Hard Disk Drive

January 3rd, 2008 by

Mass Storage Stone

It’s a rock! A “rock hard disk drive”! Get it?

Okay technically they’re calling it a stone, but I choose to call it a rock. But it’s not just any rock, it’s a 4GB hard disk designed by a Michael Leung. Yes, it’s small, only about 5cm. Wow.

The pros: Somewhere out there I bet there’s a good point in getting a designer piece. There’s nothing simpler and more boring than a not-quite-smooth, not-quite-white stone. So if you like that kind of stuff, yay for you.

The cons: It’s… a rock. If this is ever misplaced or thrown into a river along with your most precious files, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Technorati tags: stone, flintstones, hard disk, usb, gadget, rock

Fireworks for the New Year

December 31st, 2007 by

So yeah I tried to find a nice New Year’s gadget, and this is what I found. This contraption is a DIY using a Lego Mindstorms NXT. According to the source creators:

It uses a MINDSTORMS NXT, two light sensors (one for navigation and other to detect a lighted fuse) and an Ultrasonic detector (to adjust the torch arm height depending on the height of the fireworks fuse wire. It uses three motors - two for motion and and the third for the torch arm elevator [sic].

The video pretty much says all you need to know, and that excerpt too, so let’s move along.

The pros: You can wave goodbye to 2007 and hello to 2008 with all your fingers still attached to your hand.

The cons: Uh. A long stick… might do the trick. Hmm.

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Enjoy those New Year’s Eve parties, try to keep those resolutions, and be SAFE. :D

Technorati tags: new year, fireworks, safety, pyrotechnics

Keyboard Waffle Maker

December 28th, 2007 by
Keyboard Waffle

This is actually a piece of artwork designed by Chris Dimino, as part of a group exhibit for the School of Visual Arts. Apparently he used actual typewriter iron and plastic, melted to make this waffle maker.

The pros: You can practice your typing skills every morning before breakfast. You’ll have waffle batter stuck under your fingernails after one “quick brown fox”, but it all adds up to one special breakfast experience. Mmhmmm. And look, the syrup will actually pool into the “keys”, and that’s just genius!

The cons: You’ll enjoy using this too much that in less than a month, you’ll be twice your current weight, albeit a great typist.

Technorati tags: keyboard, waffle maker, breakfast

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